I took Kai to the outdoor to play with the obstacles that were already set up. I asked him to go over a bridge, push a ball, weave through the cones and squeeze between a larger cone and a barrel. He did everything I asked him but still felt disconnected. So I took him to the indoor arena and we began to play circling game.
Last session he stayed bent to the inside for one full circle, so I was curious to see how he’d do today.
I allowed him to trot around for a few laps until he connected to me. At first I was happy for three or four steps to help him get into the mindset and then I asked him to connect for a circle while I turned with him. Finally I asked him to stay connected all the way around the circle without me turning with him. This is the first time he has ever done this! I let him have break and moved on to working on the Spanish walk.
Kai is getting more and more coordinated and was doing a really nice walk. He is understanding to do one foot then the other and to make nice high steps.
However today he got increasingly pushy during the exercise. I tried to remind him softly not to push but he ignored my warning so I tagged his shoulder with the stick pretty firmly. I asked him for three Spanish walk steps and then quit to end on a good note. Looking back, I think when I ask him for this exercise next time I will teach Kai to respond with me positioned next to his shoulder instead of more in front of him.
Next I asked him to jump a barrel both ways. Kai was so sweet and willing!
I then went for a little ride to work on our cues. I asked him for many different transitions. Kai sometimes likes to ignore me when I ask him to stop so we need to work more on that.
I jumped off and tied him to the wall while I tidied up. When I was done I let him loose and sat down on the mounting block. Kai walked down the rail, sniffed the barrel and came back to me. I let him rest for some time simply enjoying each others company. I then asked him to yoyo back at liberty. As we played, I slowly increased the distance I asked him to back up. We got to about 15 feet at phase one so I invited him back and quit. I remained siting on the mounting block the whole time. I brushed him and put him back in the paddock.
Later, I also got to play with Mya! I played yoyo game with her going through the phases. We worked on porcupine game and a bit of friendly game with the wash stall, and the saddle pad and saddle.