Since I took so long to finally get this blog started, I'll have to recap what we have done and what we will be working towards.
December 21st to January 21st: 30 days of basic under saddle start. This means he was backed, taught to go forward, trot and canter.
January 21st to March 8th: Temporary break. With the snow and ice , I had no way of schooling him. I also discovered that I was too short to ground mount a young horse who would not stand. Promptly bought a mounting block. One day he was lunged in the snow and I got on him. We went for a short walk.
March: Relocated Ike to barn with arena so I could finally start him back under saddle. He also needed to be fitted for a new saddle. Rode him twice before the saddle fitter came out. Very responsive to the aids. Occassional spook but nothing too dramatic especially for his age. Found a black Barnsby all purpose that fit him very well. Continued riding twice a week (Wednesday to Sunday). Started to bend and lower head. Was a little upset about being alone. Not very keen on standing at all, whether by the mounting block or at a halt. Picks up leads 98% of the time.
April: Hit a wall. Decided he had enough and wanted to test me. Occassionally would refuse to go forward into a trot. Resisting meant backing up or turning haunches to inside while coming down the long line. Preferred side for bending and cantering is to the right. Carried crop to reinforce leg. Once going more smoothly with walk/trot transitions, began to ignore canter ques. Began riding with another horse in the ring. Well behaved for the most part, but still resisting in going forward when other horse is at walk or rest. A crop is a must until total respect of the leg is achieved. Crop has hardly been used - sometimes a small tap on the shoulder is required.
May: On and off with crop. I prefer not to carry it and would like to abandon it as soon as possible, but as he is still doing his stubbon baby phase, it is likely it will be needed for a few months until he moves off the leg 100%. Only resists going forward into a trot when in a group and other horses are at walk/rest. Does not resist when alone. Probably carried crop 40% of the time. Would ask for canter and then end lesson afterwards. Continues to pick up his canter leads 98% of the time. Very rare does he pick up wrong lead and it is usually the left one. Starting to come into his corners and balance more a canter. Rode outside alone with very little problems. Occassionally he will not go forward into a trot after we have done canter work as he has learned that the lesson is usually over once he has cantered. Started finishing lesson after 2-3 rounds of trotting in each direction.
June: Pulled mane with no issue. Has a completely bird over his right ear being touched or clipped. Can sometimes touch the ear but not for long periods of time. Successfully clipped the left ear, not so much right. Will likely need tranq for next clip job. Twitch did not help. Dislikes bathing. Still not standing very well for mounting block. Went to first line show, did not have a very good time, as didn't have enough time to prep!