Last Friday I finally got out to the pasture to go for a ride; husband took care of the baby for me and told me to get out of the house. I didn't complain (on a side note, I'm getting my fence put up this week which means I'll have my horses on my property again after two years).
I know how Ginger is, so I'm not too worried about any training with her-- she knows how to lunge, and as long as I do a little ground work with her to get out her bucks and energy we're good to go. I decided I'd give Mellow another try since I hadn't really ridden him in... ever. There's the video of him trotting, and that was the only time I'd ridden him in earnest before last week. Some of the members here said he looked a little green from the video. We're not entirely sure of his training, but he knows how to take a bit and stands to be saddled. I think that he knows how to behave and has just been allowed to get away with being naughty-- for example, he usually kicks his back feet when they have to be trimmed (he stands for his front), but it only took my farrier three minutes to get him to stand still without using any sort of brute force (he just held up his front foot so he couldn't kick the back one while he felt up the back leg). However that has to be a lot of reinforcement when you swap sides because it's like he forgets what just happened when going from one side to the other. It's the same with fly spray. He has a panic attack when I start spraying but after a few pumps he's fine, but then he repeats the action on the other side. It's odd.
Anyway, all that to say that he's gotten much better about being caught (he's actually come up to me once or twice), and so I decided that it was high time I got to use his new English tack. I learned that he doesn't know how to lunge-- I would stand him, put some distance between us with me slightly behind him, then tap at his rump with the lunge whip and he'd turn around and walk over to me. So, there's that. He stood while I mounted (which was new for me because Ginger almost always walks off and I have to start over), and he did all right in the round pen.
Silly me, I should have stayed there.
I decided that since he was listening so well that we could go out into the pasture. I never lost control of him, even though he is a very quick pony-- quick walk, even quicker trot. I never let him get past a walk for fear of not being able to rein him in, but he did great... until we got to his pasture mates. Then he planted those little hooves and refused to move. I spun him in circles until I was dizzy and he still refused to listen. At one point he bucked a little (not enough to even lose my balance), and it was at that point that I decided I'd had enough and I hopped off and led him back to the round pen, took his tack off, and put him back into his pasture.
I know I probably shouldn't have given up on him when I got back to the round pen to teach him that that behavior is not okay (though I didn't give him his grain), but it was getting late and I needed to get home.
So, point being, here are my questions:
1- How do I teach him to lunge? Ginger already knew how, and Duncan learned by doing it with her-- I was planning on using the same technique once I got them at home and had time.
2- How can I keep him from being so herd bound when we ride? I often have to ride alone, and I don't have more than one pasture to put him in to separate him from Ginger.