Kathryn, ask all the questions you want. That is just fine with me. Also, if I don't blog it I write a journal on the training I do anyway to give to the owner. That way they know what I have been doing with their horse. Also, it helps me to stay focused on the details of the training so I stay on track. It also helps me to debrief each session.
So today, we started with a review of all the tasks. We had a break through, YEAH! on his disengagement when at liberty too. Come to find out it was more my positioning then his when I asked for it on his right side. So I learned from him. Really he is coming along nicely as we went through the tasks of flexion, disengagement, backup (which he has made a marked improvement) counterturn (shoulders over). I also did some Jeffries method where I lay on his back bareback to see how he reacts. He did well. So I saddled him, no problem. He stood fine for me even while I made some adjustments. Then I lunged him on a 22' lead to see how he moves with the saddle. He is standing to be flogged now. I also had him do some transitions up and down the gaits. Then I did some of the sending and changing sides exercises or squeeze game. When he settled down and gave me a couple calm movements in both directions we moved on. That was when I bridled him. I don't know if he has had snaffle bit in his wouth. He carried it well, though he has a upper tooth that might bother him. It didn't seem to when the bit was adjusted. I did some flexion with the rein. Then up and down on each side a couple times. He stood fine for me to mount a couple times on each side. Then away we went. We rode for the last 20 min. or so. I had him disengaging, circling and moving forward at a walk and trot, and even a canter in the right lead. Kathryn if you can learn to get your seat and move with him at his gait, you won't want to canter. It is a good ride. I have to learn to move with him better, 'cause he even moves different than my walker. I wish mine moved like him. He was soft and moved off easily. We did a bunch of circles and disengaging before I let him just move forward in a straight line. He seemed relaxed and when we finished he stood and lowered his head for me. I forgot to do some flexion exercises before I got off so I got back on and finished with those. Like I said, he did wonderful today for our first ride together.