Chevy and I tried out a new training tool tonight, spurs. So far so good. I did start our ride by lunging him which I know helps us out. I didn't lunge him on Friday night and he was SO lazy I could hardly stand it. Hopefully the lunging will make him more obedient, along with making our rides more productive. He had to work hard tonight because he was being spooky at one end of the arena so I spent the majority of our time lunging at that end. He was full of himself and was huffing and puffing by the time I decided he was ready to ride.
He gets very offended by the whip so I wasn't sure if I would get the same reaction from the spurs. I could feel him respond to them, but he wasn't mad about it. It made me asking him move off the leg easier and it also seemed to help with our forward as well. He was forward and in front of my leg from the very beginning of our ride, and his poll was up. Usually when he's behind my leg and being lazy his tendency is to drop his poll and hang on me a little bit. It's not horrible but I could really feel that he was engaged tonight, and with his motor working it was lifting his front end up.
His canter transitions are something that give me trouble just about every other day. Sometimes he goes when asked and sometimes we have engine failure. I told him tonight that I am all done with those bad canter transitions. When I ask him to go, he needs to go, period. Our first transition tonight was bad but all of the rest were fairly obedient. I've been wanting to add in walk to canter transitions with him but he's normally so dull that I knew there wouldn't be any way we would get them. We tried a few each direction tonight and he really did pretty good. A few trot steps to start, but not too shabby. I think they will only help improve not only his canter but the transitions themselves. When we finished I stopped him and gave him lots of pats and praise. Maybe one day he will realize that forward is what I'm looking for.
He's becoming more fun to ride as we continue to install "buttons." His leg yields are coming along, we are starting to get a trot lengthening, and he is becoming more adjustable in general. We are getting closer to having a first level horse! April is going to hop on him soon and see what she thinks of his training progress.
Tomorrow we are heading out on our annual Christmas ever trail ride with Tarra and Mystic. The weather is supposed to be decent and I should have some cute photos to share. I'm sure the boys will enjoy getting out of the arena.