Today I worked on soft changes of direction. When we got to the canter I worked on a good draw first. I began by sending him at a canter an then I invited him in. Soon he did two flying changes because we had such a good draw that all I needed to do was politely send him the other way. And then, of course, I’d invite him in and give him rubs and cookies.
Then we played with zone 5 driving. First with one line and then two. We worked on walk, trot, canter transitions. Kai was leaning on the lead line at first so I got after him by bumping the rope. Just then Dad brought Kai's breakfast for him. Kai immediately disconnected and it was clear that the only thing on his mind was food. I quickly sent him on the circle and asked for a flying change before giving him his breakfast.
After he finished eating I asked him on the circle once again and re-established his draw. I do not want him to assume that every time I invite him in that I will resend him the other way with energy. I made a pattern out of this by repeating it seven times. Kai was calm, connected and responsive. And tired! All that cantering was hard work!
I began this session with the intention to make Kai tired because he was going in a paddock with a different herd. Last time he was in a different herd he was beating up the other horses and the other horses were beating up him! He was just asking for trouble. I thought it would be better that I worked with Kai beforehand so that he was in a good frame of mind and hopefully less naughty. My idea worked so far and he was calm in the paddock without any fuss. I just hope that he is not beat up when I visit him tomorrow.