Saddled him up Western, hoping to focus on my body for transitions, and give him a "thinking break", neck reining, loose-reins, relaxed. Les said earlier this week, "Those spurs you rode Amigo with, Romeo's the same way - you can use them. Then you can pay attention more to your riding, less to kicking him into the lope."
Ya.. That didn't happen.
When I asked for a canter, he took off like a lightening bolt. I noticed his lead was wrong, so I tried to stop him - No-Go! Complete disregard for all the aids, even my hollering "whoa!" I thought it might be the spurs, so I tried taking them off in the saddle. That didn't even work. When I got off, he had an absolutely terrified look on his face. So I did a little short-line lunging, hollering, "Whoa", hoping he'd stop. Even then, I had to "help" him turn & face me.
I got back on, tried walk & trot again with verbal "whoa" cues, he was okay, but still bouncy. Asked for a lope, and he took off, again. This time, I left him go, running around like an idjit. He ran and ran and ran and ran, head up in the skies. For the first time, in over six months, the little guy scared me, justa bit. Really, just enough that I had mane & reins in one hand, saddle horn in the other, trying with all I could not to tense up my legs or put any undue pressure on him making him think he had to run like that. About six rounds of the arena, his head started to drop, and he started to relax.
Worked on a few more transitions, and called it done. Some "Romeo training" is in order... I do declare.