Turned the horses out in the grassy pasture today and let them have a few hours of grazing to themselves then I went out to pull some weeds. I like to hand pull them so I don't have to spray poison in the horse pasture. I was wandering around pulling weeds and the horses started following me a few paces behind. It was fun watching them mirror me...I'd take a few steps and pull a few weeds and they would follow me a few steps and graze close by. We kept repeating this all over the pasture. Eventually Renegade approached me and I gave him some scratches, he especially likes them on his chest and was making funny faces.
Once we had a friendly game established, I haltered Renegade and we played with several things. The focus was slow and right beats fast and wrong and not giving him anything to brace against and boy did we have fun. Renegade did lots of licking and chewing and it didn't take him long to get there considering he's a LBI...usually it takes a while for him to digest his thoughts.
First up was FTR with me driving from zones 3, 4, and 5 - Renegade was super and I only had to make a couple of corrections in each direction. He stayed on the rail and stayed straight both ways.
Next was 1/2 way over a log and sidepass 25' off and stop. He was wanting to sideways back towards me at about 15' but I persisted and he got it. He sidepassed 25', stopped and waited. This was huge as he usually will turn and move away from the log. Once he'd licked and chewed, I asked him back to me the 25' and he did it beautifully...in fact it was easier than away!! I let him stop, gave him some scratches and he volunteered to sideways away from me. This time he went all the way, stopped, and nickered at me. After a short rest, I asked him back to me and of course it was great. When he got to me he stopped and nickered again. I think he's got it!!
Next was splitting him in half over the log with the RF and RH feet over the log...he really has this one down...it only took about 45 seconds for him to get it!! After a rest and his lick and chew, we left the log and I asked him to put his RF foot on a frisbee...first time he blew me off, second ask...TOUCHDOWN and lots of licking and chewing.
Left the frisbee and played touch it with a tree; first his nose, then zones 2, 3, 4, and 5. Everything went well except zone 5; he still has some confidence issues with zone 5...he veers off to one side or the other. We'll keep playing with it to develop his confidence until he can back straight to the tree.
Played with change of direction on the circle and kept it slow. Renegade has a habit of pushing through pressure when I ask for the change so the focus was for me to ask softly and slowly then wait and as soon as he asked me a question, I brought him in. It took three repetitions of this and he was making the turn when asked although he wanted to come in a little too close to me. I just asked him to move his shoulder over and on the last go he made the turn and kept his distance while turning. On that note I stopped and he licked and chewed ALOT!!
It was starting to get dark and time to put the horses up and give them their evening hay so I called it quits for the night. Renegade really offered me alot tonight; I hope I accepted it in the spirit with which it was given. I love my horse!!