Lather, Rinse, Pete, Repeat. It almost got boring, but as you'll see in the 4/19 entry, it's all paying off. Now how's that for a teaser, eh?
I longed him, I added the neck stretcher. I hopped aboard. Harley and I flexed left, right, both, left, right, both. It felt like we did this two dozen times, at least. Knowing it's good for him, he was stickie left to start, right was delightful. As time went on in the ride, the left got much better.
Then we picked up a trot, loose rein. With his reins swinging in and out, we were trotting a nice circle. He drifted into the circle a little, and I caught myself adding inside leg, pushing him over. He actually yielded to the leg pressure, and moved back out on the circle. I did it a few more times, trying to not use rein at all, and found the same results. Talk about accidental training! I then tried turning him in direction changes and figure eights, all at the trot, all off of leg. He isn't spinning on a nickel, but he's turning. More accidental training. I don't remember intentionally thinking, "Today, I'm going to teach my horse to turn off of my leg without using the reins." Apparently I've been doing it anyways. Good to know I've been releasing at the right times, otherwise, Harley would never be turning well.
We trotted out good big circles both ways, and in an effort to make it more interesting for both of us, I started trotting big figure 8s, insisting he stay forward in the direction change. It took a few changes, but he got the idea, and stayed seriously forward.
Total ride time? About 25 minutes. I totally lost track of time, as we were in the arena about an hour, fifteen minutes.. Whoops Harley! One more day, buddy.. Just one more day...