Ok, I need to get this done. We had a good day today. Not that everything went well or right, but that in the end we ended well. Here's what I mean. We started outside the pen. He didn't want to go to work with me today, but I led him into it anyway. Then He showed me a few things that were hidden under the surface, in his mind while I worked him in rd pen. That is, he would rather run than spend time with me. So that is what he did. Oh, he tried to stop a few times and he turned to the inside almost every time I asked him to. But he tried to beat me to the punch but anticipating that I wanted him to turn to the inside. In that case, I just pressed him forward in the same direction. Then going to the right, he wanted his butt canted towards me, going to the left he had a nice shape. Then when I gave him opportunity to stop he would not follow me. He just stopped and stood there and would not break free in his shoulders. Without lots of my moving around to get him too. So I had to make him go again. This went on for 20 minutes and I thought well there goes my plan for the day. I had to stick with this until he at least gave me a good follow/hooking on. He finally did so we could then move on to the other exercises. I gave him a good rest then desensitized more. He doesn't like the swinging of the string, so he won't like a lariat or flag for sure. But we worked on this till there was some improvement. We went on to YH, backups, YF. He did pretty good on these making good improvements. His sending is getting better, his flexion is getting real soft, though at times he stiffens right up. Circling was way better then yesterday. I got three good laps at a continuous trot each way. His lunging for respect is getting better too. I have to watch him though. I am certain that he would tag me with a hind foot if I gave him the chance. Not that he is mean, but that he doesn't like being pushed. He has never been pushed probably in most or all of his 18 years. So He doesn't like when I do. I know to give him lots of breaks, because of his personality he gets pushed, then I back off. For example, when I ask for a trot under saddle instead of expecting a complete lap I only had him take a couple strides then stopped him, which was easy because that is what he wanted to do in the first place. Then keep increasing the distance til I get a full lap and then can keep him going several times. But it is a gradual thing. He offered me some cantering too so not wanting to kill the forward motion I let him and then asked him to stop.
He saddled well and I got on and that is exactly what we did after practicing lateral flexion and one rein stops. He gave me a half hearted kick back with his feet when he wanted to stop and I wouldn't let him, but that was all. In the end he was keeping forward without much of a fit and when I asked him to stop I got a good one. We flexed and then quit. I am certain he will keep making improvements. I hope to get him out of the rd pen in the next day or two and see how that goes.