I took a step back, and realized that Harley's topline back strength isn't increasing as quick as I thought it would. I had a long email chain discussion with Mrs. Mom, and changed my plans forward with Harley.
I caught him in the pasture, carefully applied fly spray, noting it was SO much better than last time. Yeah, he tossed his head, but he didn't explode and try to blow away from me, either. I put on the halter, and the shorter lunge line.
And I asked him to walk on the line. Quickly, he realized that "walk" was the only request I had in mind, he eased forward. After a few steps of the walking circles, he lowered his head.
I stared at his back, and concentrated. As he lowered his head, I could almost see the muscles moving in his topline. Neat! Concentrated, we worked on walk-only for nearly 7 minutes. I then let him trot just a little, again in observation.
A few great steps of trot with a lowered head, neck nearly level with his withers. Awesome. I poured on the praise in a tender voice.
Total "work", 15 minutes. We're slowing down, sort of. I still plan on adding a saddle here soon, and asking for walking forward with an eased neck & head. We're going to cancel side reins until there's more topline to appreciate, and ask mostly for only walk. Harley knows how to walk, trot, and canter, so it's not a "teach from scratch". Right now, my focus is muscle development, and memory impression.