Played with Bert tonight and the focus was on the circling game, me controlling my energy, and Bert walking on the circle calmly with relaxation and rhythm. The first couple of times I sent him out on the circle I thought I was relaxed but when he left at the trot with his head up high, I realized I had tension somewhere in my body and he was reading it. I concentrated on each of my body parts making sure they were relaxed and it was my stomach or core that was tense. I made a conscious effort to relax it and voila...Bert immediately came down to a walk!! I brought him in for a rub and a rest and he was licking and chewing.
I then yo-yo'd him out and sent him in the other direction and this time I made sure I relaxed my core right away and he left at the walk. Yahoo!!! I then experimented a bit with my energy and by tightening my core and relaxing it I could bring him up to a trot or down to a walk. It was super fun playing with this.
Bert is such a sensitive, responsive boy and I want to maintain that. At times he can be a bit reactive but if I can get him thinking he goes from being reactive to being responsive. I noticed tonight that when I got my energy under control, Bert quit being reactive and became responsive and he also kept checking in with me, looking inside the circle. When I had my energy "up" too high for him he couldn't look at me but instead was looking outside the circle.
Once I got my energy under control I was able to send him out on the circle and got two laps in each direction at a nice, relaxed walk then called it quits for the night. I think he was o.k. with everything because when I took the halter off he stayed with me for rubs and wither scratches and had a nice, soft look about him.