Rode Romeo bareback for about a half hour, western bit. He obeyed mostly, and I stayed at walk & trot. Some pesky things popped up during the ride that I'm going to focus on with him in 2011.
Verbal "Whoa" means stop n-o-w. Not ten feet later. Bit pressure should NOT be necessary for a verbal cue.
Neck reining could use a little touch up work with repetition.
Stops are very harsh on front end. He needs a butt-down stop.
I'm going to work on these things with Romeo next year. I'll probably employ Julie Goodnight's elbow pull system (or one similar of my creating), and he'll spend some serious time on a longe line in the elbow pull, learning how to relax to the bit pressure. I'm also going to spend some serious time working on halts - backing him up a few steps from every halt out of walk and trot. I'll also work on his canter stops, as Julie suggested in a TV episode, going to an opposite diagonal trot everytime he stops ugly.
Soon, you will see some 2011 Goals for Romeo, and for Harley. I've let out my thoughts on Romeo goals. What do you think would make good Harley goals? Competing? Judge comments? Certain scores? Accomplishing things at home with video for proof? What say you?