Friday's lesson was about getting some activity behind quickly, and then moving on. My homework for the week, other than to stay in the saddle, was to get the activity, do the work, and be finished. I think Saturday's ride took all of 8 minutes!
I got on Speedy and did my regular one lap warm up, but I kept my legs on him and didn't let him lolly gag. He knew something was up because once we hit the long side he kept trying to break into a trot. I pat his neck and thanked him for the effort but whispered, not yet.
Once we were back to where I like to start from, I gave a firm bump with my legs, and said, let's go! Speedy shot forward like a missile. We did half the circle, and I asked for a prompt halt. He gave it, and then I gave a softer bump to ask for forward again. He again responded like a rocket. We did this exercise for a few minutes before I finally asked for a short canter.
Once he was definitely going forward, I tracked left and asked for some sideways off my inside leg. He was a bit reluctant at first, but I gave a solid halt halt and clearly said, MOVE! After that one piece of resistance, he was committed to trucking around the circle without any more lip. I asked for a quiet halt and he snapped to it. Yes!
I let him walk a moment and then changed direction. He responded immediately to my leg, but was a bit slow to soften to the inside rein so I did a small circle and then moved him out. It took one or two small circles before he was willing to move away from my inside leg with a reasonable bend, but once he did, the ride was over.
This exercise won't be the solution to every problem, but it sure has his attention for right now! We'll see how he does later this morning.