Harley's good day took a vacation. Instead, on Sunday, he was almost a burden. Just on the longe line, he repeatedly knocked poles down off the rail razors, tripped over others, and either avoided them or tried very hard to avoid them. At the canter, he was changing leads without notice, and constantly trying to break gait. Lazies.
I added the neck stretcher and the bit. Lazies more. He was bending his nose in a LOT, or holding on to the bit, gnawing on it angrily. If I'd get after him, he'd get short strided, lazy more, trip over more things (even a weed or two a few times). I took him away from the poles to the center of the arena. He then started hanging on me on one side of the circle, and tearing away too close on the other side. Dragging me all over the arena, he found himself at the opposite end, and with fence to hold him around, I was better able to force a more rounded circle.
The south winds were howling, with a looming cold front on the way. Harley used this to his advantage, flaring his tail and nose up a few times in the sharp breezes. When the neighbor children began shooting their little rifle *pop Pop POP*, Harley again took off at a gallop, eyes all a-fright, boogering himself around the arena trying to find the source of the loud noises and gleeful screams. tempts me to take my .45 pistol out there and blow a few rounds into the dirt to get their attention someone's out there.
After approximately 30 minutes, he finally settled into a decent working trot. I transitioned him in and out of trot to working walk a few times (still on the neck stretcher), and then I finally gave up. A mild victory, as I insisted he keep at it until he worked properly.
On our way back to the barn, something else spooked him. He tried yanking the lead rope out of my hands, and when he hit the end of the rope on his nose and poll, he stopped, and turned to face me, about 45deg angle to my shoulder. At least he didn't carry me across the pasture, right? Better, at least he didn't turn his butt to me.