The plan with Macho will be Monday, Wednesday, Fridays. So I pulled him out last Friday to officially start. So this will be our official starting picture as a baseline.
Now I've only been on him a handful of times in the past, and all were last fall: trial at the rescue after another rider, two or three rides the first two weeks, and one trail ride. Think I also pulled him out to lunge him the first two days we had him on site. Other than that he's had a mix of people on him over a few months, and when it became clear that wasn't going to be the best for him and most had lost interest, I volunteered.
So Friday was sort of our chance to start over. I tacked him up in the bridle and surcingle with the idea that at some point I'll start him in Vienna reins. There was already one horse lunging at the gate end and one jumping at the far end, so we took about 10 minutes to just walk in hand while waiting for a lunging spot to clear. Turned out to be a great easy warm up for him for his mind and body. I got him to stop speed waking ahead of me and halt when I stopped.
Lunging started out fine, forward, but that was to be expected since I think it's been well over a week since he last left his pen. He clearly wanted to roll in the lovely indoor footing, so he did a ton of trotting with his nose to the ground, but continued to trot like i asked. Great stretch, and it slowed him down, so I took advantage of the situation. Then heading right, our lunging just turned into kite flying…with a strong wind!
This boy can barrel around.
Things I'm pleased to see-
If he picks up the wrong lead or is cantering disunited from bucking/playing, he will quite naturally fix it with a flying change.
After charging around to the right, we worked on walk trot transitions until he was quiet and listening.
It was a good place to end, so adding side reins will be an adventure for another day. I am always very careful with introducing them to any horse that may not have had them on before, so we'll wait for the right day.
The hardest part will be having the patience to wait a few days in between. It's killing me to have to wait until Monday, but I do love my time with my toddler and husband, so I'll remind myself that this is all a balancing act.