I had plans to ride Grayson again after work today. I was hoping to do the same thing I did Monday but the barn owner showed up to feed (much later than usual) so she hung around and chatted with me. I hopped on and he walked around just fine. We circled, did serpentines, etc... She asked what he would do if I asked him to trot; mind you it's warm during the day and starts getting cool around dusk so I could just feel his spring legs.
He gave some sass so I asked again and he bucked once but I knew it was coming. The barn owner was concerned (something about "walking" down the aisle in a wheelchair!) so she threw him in the round pen and worked him. It doesn't take him long to come to and was behaving like a champ and also seemed to be enjoying himself (!?!) so she handed the lunge whip over to me.
I definitely need to be more firm with him...he automatically knows he can get away with more when I'm in charge but still did what I asked. Once we did some transitions in both directions, I hopped back on to W/T in both directions without him bucking. He didn't buck but I didn't expect him to]o. TONS of licking and chewing was going on throughout...maybe he's at the point where he really does want to do some work? He just seemed content afterward.
I do struggle with the clash of training methods...doing the round pen thing with him tonight is not Parelli-ish or Clicker Training-ish but it worked! I think I need to let go of the black/white boundaries and use what works for the two of us. <- this is very difficult for me for some reason.
The BO suggested I try free lunging before I hop on...she trained her mare (a fiery and solid Appy mare) in a very similar manner. I'll do it a few times and see what happens.
Things I learned tonight:
1. I need to ask for what I want and release when he gives it to me. Duh! This is horse training 101 but my brain goes to mush when I work with him under saddle.
2. I need to be more vocal both when he's doing the right thing and the wrong thing. The BO says things like "oooooh preeeetttty trot" "niiiice walk Grayson." He does so well with voice commands (I guess most horses do?) but once again, I forget under saddle.
3. I'm way too fussy with my seat.
4. Keeping your heels down does in fact prevent being un-saddled in a buck. :)
5. I'm such a softy...Today I got called out at work and at the barn!
6. This horse training stuff is hard work but very fulfilling.