Wait, back up a step. I walked Romeo to the wash/saddle tie posts, and remembered, "oop. He hasn't seen the railroad tie flooring yet. This could be fun."
I walked Mo to the x ties just like I walked Harley to it, steady and confident. Mo did just as Harley, only slightly different. When I stepped over to clip him to the Xpost, Mo laughed at me, and walked right on off the ties. Grr! =) Get back here! Back we go, only when he was where I wanted, I warned him, "Whoa!" Second time, he stood still. I groomed, I saddled, I brushed the mud off. He didn't budge, he didn't wiggle, and he didn't bust another Xpost. Good deal.
I gave Romeo a very brief, less than ten minute, longe on the line. I had the whip in hand, and did have to use it once to get him in the canter-left. Mo realized I wasn't playing, I meant business, and complied. Realizing he wasn't going to have a galloping fit, or a bucking tantrum, I put on my helmet, and hopped on.
Walk - good to go.
Trot, loose rein - great.
Trot, collection - really?! Is this seriously the same horse? I shortened up my reins, and Mo rounded his back so much I could feel him lighten underneath me. His trot became slightly springy, a serious accomplishment for such a flat mover.
Canter, loose rein - nice.. I did have to bust his chops going up into it. Something I will personally need to work on. Probably have to carry a dressage whip just one ride. H mentioned he was lazy into the canter, and she whapped him a few times with the whip to get him into the canter before he realized kiss and legs means something. I'll probably give it one more solid effort without the aids before I start trying to carry something.
Either way, Romeo went anywhere I put his feet, and actually cantered with moderate collection. Long & low, but certainly not all strung out and nose out like he left me. Nice...
We ended our work with a cool down, complete with plenty of backing up, turns on forehand, turns on haunches. Mo didn't waste any time thinking about any of my requests, eager to get off of the leg pressure.
Total work? About an hour. I am happy to say I'm satisfied with his month of Hoof Camp. Saturday, he rode where I put his feet, and didn't balk at anything. Sunday, he did as I asked, went when I said "go", stopped by seat and verbal. At no point did I feel like I had to "bust his tail" for anything... After the ride, he stood patiently at the xTies, and when I put the hose to his legs, he didn't flinch. I even hosed off his face without a lot of protest. Fantastic...
Me Thinks I got my little Babysitter Critter back ...