Today we made good progress. I went out with a plan. First I lunged Dressy for 15 minutes. In a surcingle and side reins. Got her relaxed and walking and trotting slowly and politely.
Then went back in and tacked her up for a ride. We did some circles in the round pen. Then did circles around the outside of the round pen. Then did circles in the corner of the corn field. Then serpentines back and forth across the top of the field. Then more circles. Then more serpentines. For 40 minutes we went round and round and back and forth. Once she was fully relaxed and walking on a long rein in every direction and at every stage. And she could transition to a couple of steps of trot and back down to walk calmly…. then we went all the way around the field. She walked perfectly until the last corner, when a big rattly truck went by and she wanted to rush directly up the hill towards home. So we went around and around and around in that corner until she was willing to put her head back down, bend, and walk on a loose rein. Then I let her walk up the hill.
We did more circles and serpentines for a while. Then we walked back to the back field. And I let her walk without circling as long as she didn’t rush. She did try a couple of times. But each time, she figured it out faster. Rushing was not getting her anywhere. Just brought on more circles. I could tell by the end of the ride today that she was actively trying to control herself. We ended up doing an hour and a half of mostly circles 😦
I’ve no doubt that she’ll try it again tomorrow mind you… just to make sure I really mean to go round and round truly ENDLESSLY until she walks. Even if there really are monsters lurking nearby ready to eat her.