CC, if I remember correctly, Diddley was pictured in a double bridle in the ad when you found him, right? And he is young, isn't he? Like 5 or 6? Riding in a double certainly did not help teach him correct contact, and you must be feeling the effects from that poor start - I'm sorry :(
I'm wondering if you are compressing/condensing your aids with enough
Intensity when you ask for contact. Meaning the application of leg (calf) and squeezing/holding of hand-rein for more than a moment--applying those aids in slightly increasing intensity (but NOT pulling backwards) until he connects (rounds), at which time you soften your hand (but keep leg on ;)) Perhaps try MORE leg and MORE rein (increase tension on reins)on a 30 M circle?
I have to agree... I don't even own a double bridle, so no fear of me putting that contraption on him :P I must try what you said... I have a tendency to be far to kind to him!
Existential: I will be trying that tomorrow when I ride him. Thanks a mill for the kind words :)
Ninamebo: I'll be putting a video up for critique, most likely this weekend, because I know absolutely it's my fault. Maybe once a month, I will video myself and look for some improvements.
Jaydee: I don't think (I say think because, I may be unaware I'm doing it) that I am... I am a very sympathetic rider (again, I think!) I'm concentrating on pushing him on up into the bridle, rather than sawing him down.
Tinylily: I am aware of that, and I am actually going to shoot myself some day if I don't get the hang of this dressage lark... I need the dressage whip after me I do! I know what you mean about lessons... I crave direction and instruction... Otherwise I end up riding around aimlessly saying oh lets do a bit of this, then a bit of that :P.
Thank you all so much... You've given me some direction to keep me busy, and maybe hope for the future! Some