Oh my....what a big day!! A day full of learning experiences! In other words: a good day! :D
Mrs. Miller and Casey came over today to help me with Buster. We started at a walk, and we would change direction every 1/2 circle. If he went into a trot, we immediately stopped him. The biggest point she made is that I'm too easy on him- which is why he's taken control. He's a more advanced horse now, and I need to be a little more firm, and a little more particular about what I want. She told me not to be afraid to shake that rope hard. So I shook it hard every time he went into trot. I would also use my carrot stick- I'd smack it hard on the ground and make a 'saw' out of it. It didn't take long before he was paying attention. Then he started offering more. We still kept to a walk though, until we got three full circles- relaxed.
We then moved on to the trot. He blew up several times, but Mrs Miller was there to tell me to hold my ground, or when to relax and stop the fight. We would let him stand and relax for a second, and then we would ask him again. In the end, we got two full circles at the trot- completely relaxed and paying attention!! Of course, we gave him some mental breaks every now and then. Mrs. Miller taught me how to leg yield from the ground, and Buster picked up on that immediately!
Before the Millers left, they showed me how to put my saddle (Ms. June called the lady who's saddle I'm borrowing, and the lady said that I was welcome to use it!) on correctly.
He looks kind of like Pat Parelli's Mr. Skyline Peppy! So cute!!!
He did well with the saddle. I got on him after a little bit, and we both took a short ride around the arena. The only issue I had with him was getting him to go. I can't move my seat as well to ask him to go in a saddle, so he was a little confused at first, but he picked up alright.
We also did some cleaning on our saddles after we were done riding. Mine needs a ton of work.
Overall, I think I gained a little bit of respect from Buster today, and I think we both gained some confidence. I feel more motivated than I have since January! I'm happy! :D