This week, Slate returned to the round pen to work on his responsiveness to my verbal cues, especially at the trot & lope. While Slate is sometimes more reactive than Rowdy, his energy isn't as free-flowing; it's more start, stop, resist, start, stop, resist. There are days when he'll come out of the pen still wanting to resist & muscle his way through the exercises initially.
We also introduced Leading Beside. In this exercise, we're working on coming off of poll pressure & matching my pace/energy. If he doesn't respond to the lead rope or my pace/energy, I follow through with the stick at the hindquarters. This exercise reinforces the "move forward" response to pressure applied to the hindquarters instead of being desensitized to it & matching my energy which is something that I expect under saddle as well. Today, ended well with Slate willingly trotting beside me as soon as I begin to jog next to him.
We'll review these exercises on Monday & expect to saddle back up & ride on Tuesday.
Next week's update will be posted on Saturday.