Ok, sometimes you have to change things up with a horse. In my case, I had to go to larger pen, his pen for work today because my rd pen is about ankle deep in mud. Not too safe for footing sake. Although, It is easier to land in if perchance there is some sort of an unintentional dismount. So today we worked in his playground. That created a little problem because when I was on his back he kept wanting to go back to his 'safe haven' the stall. I'll tell how I solved that a little later.
The first thing I did is get him saddled and then started working on a 14' line and had him lunge around me 5x in each direction. Then went through the tasks refreshing and refining them. He is definitely getting better. His lateral softness made a marked improvement and so did his disengagement. My intention was to work on the ground for about 30 min and then ride for 30 min. So I did some squeeze/sending game all around the pen and worked in balanced turns on center, Reis's million dollar move, where I change sides by asking for the disengagement and keep moving until he brings his head toward me and I let him pass and change sides. He is moving in these ways pretty good. Then I worked on leg yeilds and side passing against the fence.
Then I put the bridle on, did some flexing and got on. I did some more flexing and backing before we moved off. Then we just did about 15 min of disengaging, one rein stop and back up exercises. Then I started asking for lat softness by doing circle esses. Then worked on vertical softness at a standstill and some back up. He is getting pretty soft coming into the bridle while moving forward. However, today he had a problem with wanting to move forward. I only got him to trot a few times, but I wasn't really trying that much. I want to get these other exercises down with him real good at a walk. Then move up to a trot. We will probably try that more tomorrow. Oh, I was going to tell you how I handled him wanting to go stand by his stall. I simply made being there real difficult. I let him go over there then I really put him to work doing disengagements in both directions, we even did some shoulders over or counterturns then when I was ready I walked him on a loose rein to the middle of the pen and let him stand there for a minute or two without being pulled on. We went through this process about 3x and then it wasn't a problem. Anyway, we finished with bridling up exercises for softness then I stopped. Hopefully, tomorrow things will be a little drier.