I don't have much time but wanted to do a quick post so I don't forget. Played with Renegade tonight for about 20" at liberty in the playpen and it was fantastic. I sent him out on the circle to the right at the trot and he gave me 7 circles without breaking gait or changing direction. After 7 laps, I decided to bring him in before he made any decisions about what he was going to do and he came right in. I let him rest a bit then sent him out to the left at a trot and he gave me 5 laps with good impulsion. I decided to ask for a transition down to a walk for half a lap then back up to a trot for half a lap. He got it and it took very little effort from me (HOORAY!!).
After the trot laps, I asked for the canter and Renegade went right into it. I did have to keep quite a bit of energy going in my body for him to maintain the canter but we did 4 laps!! I didn't have to actually canter myself and I didn't have to hop up and down either, just had to have some up and down energy going. I also didn't have to turn with him which I've had to do since he likes to stop or break gait behind me. Tonight he followed the rail, maintained gait, looked for me, and asked questions. I'm so thrilled as this has been our bug-a-boo for so long and I think we've finally had our break through!!!
After his stellar performance, I asked Renegade in to rest when I sat down on the ground he laid down to roll, first on his left side then on his right side and while he was down on his right side he stayed down for a bit while I rubbed him with the cs.
After our rest, we went together at liberty out to some grass to graze. I left Renegade there while I was nearby preparing the evening feed for all the horses. I'm loving the fact he is becoming very respectful at feeding time. He used to try to sneak in from any direction he could to snatch bites of feed from the bowls but he waits patiently now. He continues to graze but I can see him looking to see if I'm ready to invite him in to his bowl. Feeding time in the pasture is almost becoming a pastoral event these days and I'm loving it!!