I got off work (still loving the new job) and rushed home to ride because there was rain coming. I didn't get pictures (just in case I got drenched I didn't want my phone on me) and I rode bareback in the halter to keep the tack from getting wet. It was all pointless because we didn't get rained on. It wasn't as imminent as I thought!
I rode for twenty minutes and it was a very productive ride! I asked him to walk up the driveway and he immediately started the weaving, trying to turn around, walking slow crap and I was tempted to get totally pissed off about it, but then I decided I would outsmart him instead. By the way, I finally figured out why he's doing it... he's veering to the right because he wants to go into the woods to eat the really tall grass (it's his favorite).
When I realized what he was actually doing today, I started walking him back and forth over the timbers lining the parking spots. Back to my point.. when we are on the driveway he's veering toward the grass and then I pull him back the other direction. He uses it as an excuse to try to turn around (hoping to go back to the grass.. he's obsessed right now because it's spring). I don't think it's actually because he doesn't want to go up the driveway, so not balking like I thought, but rather he's fixated on the grass and when I turn him away from it he thinks I'm asking him to turn around... or something like that!
What I did to outsmart him was doing tiny serpentines the width of the driveway and the entire length! We have a long driveway. Well, it's only a tenth of a mile, but it feels long. About three quarters of the way up I could tell he had decided this was incredibly stupid and not worth the effort! I made him finish anyway. Then we marched back down the driveway. He was very quick moving today because the mosquitoes were driving him crazy. I should have fly sprayed him before I rode, but I didn't think about it. At least they kept him moving eagerly forward and not balking. so there's that.
After we walked back down I turned him and asked him to walk straight up the driveway again. He considered pulling his shenanigans a second time, but he didn't. I think we might add the serpentines to our regular work since it worked so well!
Afterwards I decided to work on something I'd read about yesterday. The point of the exercise is to make the horse light in the bridle (or halter in our case). What you do is have them walk forward, then put light pressure on one rein. As soon as they turn, you drop it and walk straight a couple of strides before doing it the other direction. I had him so bendy and light, weaving all over the yard. It was so cool!! I'm bad about being impatient and pulling as hard as necessary to get an immediate response, instead of letting him think about it, which makes him dull. I need to quit! Besides it's not fair to him. I'm going to practice it a lot because he responded really well to it and he deserves it. He was turning off of such light pressure and his response was immediate, forward and eager. I love it! That will help make the serpentines easier too. I should have tried them again after I got him light, but the mosquitoes were driving me nuts and I got off to fly spray him.
I'm very, very happy with how he did and myself, since I used my brain instead of my emotions. :D It's supposed to rain all week and I might not get to ride again until Friday... pout.
P.S. I just spent half an hour (sarcasm) correcting the grammar in this post.... I can't believe how horribly lazy I have gotten. I overuse so, that, lol, haha, etc. waaaaaaaay too much....................