Extended ride on Joey yesterday. We rode for about 2 hours. Lots and lots of transitions, trot to canter. Lots of trotting with head kept flexed at the poll. In the round pen, he is giving a slow canter, but he still tends to rush and want to go fast in the more open arena. That's OK for now. I think he'll settle down with more work.
We worked on a lot of leg yielding, and I attempted the half pass. He and I did great with leg yielding, but the half pass was another matter entirely. But even if we didn't get it much, it DID keep him thinking and it kept him soft. He isn't just charging about anymore. He's flexed at the poll and I swear he's just really in tune with me because he doesn't know what crazy thing I'm going to ask him to do next. And because he has such a good personality, it's really fun to try new things with him.
We also did a lot of arcing. I want him bending around my inside leg. I'm wearing spurs to cue him more precisely, and he's getting used to the spur without being hyper-reactive the way he was in the beginning. Mind you, this is just cueing; there is no jabbing with the spur. I have a gentle rowel and a very short shank on my spurs. They're my absolute favorite spur after spending a lot of money on spurs I didn't like or that I felt were too harsh or too long and bumped the horse unintentionally. I'll wear this pair for the rest of my life.
This morning, Todd Martin called. He's back from competition in Houston, TX and ready to meet me and Joey. So tomorrow, we have our first reining lesson. Should be interesting.