FINALLY! the penny is dropping with our hacking.
Unfortunately for both of us, the past few months have been tough. The weather has been pants, no day light and had some family issues along the way. So in more ways than one things have gone down hill.
BUT! I am still hacking out with Jo and he fabulous stallion Colin during the weekends. We have been out 3 times now and its starting to really help him!
On Sunday the sun was shining, there was minimal wind (about ruddy time) and I had schooled him the day before.
I literally hopped on, put him into a contact and rode him forward out of the drive in front the whole way. Jo looked somewhat surprised! He then continued to walk/trot infront majority of the way. We had a few blips (usually concerning nothing)...we are currently trying a new trick with him.
If he stops and refuses to move forward, he is now span tightly until he feels as if he wants to move forward and then pushed on straight. Dare i say...it did work! sometimes took a few attempts, but it just gets him moving and not backwards or up! He did do some random leap in the in once which we both found rather amusing. Luckily I fell back into the right place!
He led the way all the way up the bridle path, I had to jump off once to get under a fallen tree (jumping it may of been a little adventurous at this point and I didn't fancy snapping my back in half underneath it!)
He stood nicely for me to get on, whilst Colin climbed up the bank and back down to get past it. He then proceeded to walk infront until we got to a little streamy area. I could call it a ford but i'd be lying!
He was infront at this point, he stopped and just refused to move. He was using Colin as an excuse so we moved Colin to the side of the stream. After a few pirouettes and alot of vocal encouragement - he jumped it! and continued to walk infront! BIG PATS FOR PONY!
To some this may seem like such little steps, but that is such a massive step for my lad. He's never found hacking the easier option, and I've never found it the most relaxing of past times. But he MUST learn to get over it and start to enjoy it. He cannot school and lunge for the rest of his life!
We even managed a bit of his hack allowing him to relax on a long rein and enjoy himself. He even randomly trotted off on a few occasions. Yet again another surprised face by Jo!
I'm dead pleased, and I'm glad that I'm persisting with the problem. I don't expect it to be a quick fix at all, and we have a long road ahead of us, but he's currently moving in the right direction!
He also even managed to get out on Sunday morning for a sunbathe in his field :)