Ben and I graduated today. Gone are our round pen days- hello big wide arena!
He was really great. We walked, trotted, did halts, changes of direction. At first he didn't quite understand that leg on= move to the next gait. So I started small- I would put my leg on and the second he moved out, I'd praise him. Soon he tried the trot. He got tons of praise. So we did that a few times, just enough for him to really understand leg= go forward. Then we tried the other direction, to the right. He is much stiffer to the right, so we worked on bending a bit, but I could feel it was very tough for him. So note to self- more in hand work to go with under saddle work. He understood the leg cue to the right, but it was tougher for him. One time he did try to kick out. I growled at him, and I could feel him tense and then release. He never tried it again after that.
We ended on a nice relaxed walk. He got tons of praise, and then I untacked him and let him loose to roll.
Here is Ben's guide to rolling, in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Find your perfect spot:
Step 2: Lay down and grind dirt into coat
Step 3: Get up and repeat on opposite side :)