Tried touch it with your tail tonight with Renegade and played with it for about 15″. Had to use approach and retreat several times as Renegade would veer off to one side or the other rather than backing straight. I took my time, kept it slow, and would bring him back each time he started to veer off. Eventually, he backed straight to the tree with his tail touching and since he looked relaxed, ears forward, eyes on me, head level, blinking, licking and chewing, so I let him rest there for a bit before moving on to something else. It was an interesting session and very revealing that such a confident horse in so many situations could have so many thresholds backing his zone 5 up to that tree!!
We did a little more online: some trot circles with change of gait to canter and got a full canter circle in each direction with minimal correction/direction from me. Played a bit with his mouth since he’s fairly protective of that area; ended up being able to insert the tip of my finger in the corner of his mouth without him trying to take his head away, had a positive expression and did a little gentle chewing (not the frantic chewing he has done in the past) then his mouth got quiet. I was able to gently rub his lips without him resisting/objecting. Also led backwards at liberty by the tail about 30′, nice and soft and away from his hay!! Talk about being a partner. Probably didn’t set that up the best for success but was extremely happy with the result!! Must have been an o.k. session because he stayed with me after we finished; he didn’t just rush back to the hay pile!!
I'm lovin' me some cheeky little Chincoteague Pony!!!