Update on a few items
Nobody was at the stable so I focused on groundwork.
Circle game: I upped the criteria and have started asking for self carriage. It was cute to watch him understand that I was clicking for his head movement and he kept trying! Adorable. Lunging isn't like it used to be! I circled by the scary door on the side of the arena just to get him desensitized. He did pretty well and responds to the trot and walk cue like second nature. Being nervous does make him a bit "weavy" on his circle though. Eventually he stopped cutting the circle when he started realizing the door hadn't eaten him yet and he could earn treats.
Leg Yield: Did more of this on the ground towards the wall, since he struggled with that. The back corners are scary again. So I sat back there with him for a few minutes rest and he nearly jumped out of his skin at a noise. He didn't yank the rope interestingly, but pulled himself together and came back to put his head down, like he knew what he was supposed to do. Interesting that he seems to be connecting that scary = put head down. He just can't help himself sometimes lol
Leg Yield and Shoulder Yield: I also played with these two buttons to ensure he didn't forget the difference between all of them. He gets so focused on one movement he gets a bit confused when I ask for another. More practice!
Fun: I let him play with the blue ball and the purple ball. He wasn't too fond of picking up the blue ball. He liked pushing the purple ball and he tried to paw and bite at it a few times. At one point, I was trying to lure him to kick the ball by directing myself behind it so he had to walk into it to get to me; we got in a game of tag around the ball....he's faster. lol
Bit: I decided to review targeting his bit, since he has been throwing his head up; he hates the chin strap or whatever and was losing incentive. The refresher helped him a bit. Basically he has to target the bit and put it in his mouth.
Desensitizing: Because of his jumpiness lately, I grabbed a plastic bag and tied it to my stick and string. Flipping it around in the air and on the ground definitely made him wary. He wanted to touch it with his nose and bit it, but when it flew in the air....*shudder*. It was tolerable until it touched him and you could see the creepy crawly flinch he gave and naturally he tried to move away. I eventually got him to stand pretty still. This is a good one! Will use more!
I also bought some new reins and gentle spurs, but sadly didn't get to try them.