Ukon's visit to the trainers was a success
Jose worked with him for five weeks and then in the last two weeks I went over there and rode him 5 times in total. I needed her knowledge of him, her 'eyes on the ground' and her coaching skills to get me past the 'fear' thing and to be a competent rider with him.
He is now home with me (how big was my smile?!) and I have ridden him out of our place with Jose on Riley.
I get it now. I understand how to manage his greenness, I understand where I went wrong. I KNOW that he is still green and I have to use my brain to ride him well, and be the person he needs me to be to bring him on.
Here's something interesting that I discovered about myself:
When I am out hacking/on the trail with a horse, my mindset is that "I have to get this horse through everything that comes at us. I am in charge, and the horse needs me to make the decisions and be the boss."
When I am in the arena, my mindset WAS (I have just realised) "the horse is doing these things to me how can I cope with all of this?" I had unconsciously absolved myself of responsibility for what goes on in the arena. And so - when I had problems with Ukon in the arena I didn't respond proactively, I sort of panicked inside.
Why? Don't know. But I can guess that the amount of hours I have had under instruction in an arena when I have had to 'trust' my instructor to get me 'over the jump' have contributed to this. Whereas when out and about there has never been an instructor and I have had to always take charge.
It has been enlightening.
I will post pictures of both boys soon, I promise.