Originally Posted by franknbeans
I would try the excercises-circling, bending, serpentines....keep him guessing-WAY before the dressage whip, but-that is just me. I personally make a point to turn my guy AWAY from whatever it is that has his attention when starting an "excercise". I will tell you tho', that after years, he will still "wander" at times, and needs reminding from time to time. He and I now have an agreement-and he knows it well. He does what I want and does it right and we can be done and move on. He doesn't-and we may be there a while. After 17 yrs with him, I will say he is pretty good at doing his job most of the time, even if not ridden for months!
Maybe this is what i'm dong wrong; when he looks or spooks and looks I turn him towards whatever has his attention (mostly, if it's scary like the tractor or something) so that he can see it and move on without having to keep looking back. Maybe if I turn him away and distract him he'd forget about whats drawing his attention.
I recently started teaching phoenix how to be more responsible for his own movement so I wouldn't have to keep telling him to keep going all the time, and how to slow when I want and how to speed up when I want. At first he was like "huh?" but as soon as he realized that he could quit once he got the hang of it he learned so fast it surprised me. (of course this was when no other horses were around.)