Day two of the new routine - working together in the afternoon. I walked out to get my boyo and he brightly joined me. We went out to the far pond again to graze, and this time he didn't look back toward the other horses even once.
While we're walking we practice crossing all kinds of small water. Thin trickles, wide boggy spaces, wide running water. Not going into the ponds though. I don't trust myself not to fall if I walk into the muddy bottom and I am trying to promote relaxation so I don't want to send him in alone.
We went into the round pen and he walked circles. He's such a good boy. At each direction change I brought him in to me, stood and relaxed, then asked him to drop his head to the ground. There is much less resistance there now when I put my hand on his poll. Of course he's still perfect when I use halter pressure.
I showed him the surcingle but didn't put it on him. I need to decide whether I want to use a bit or not. I don't see why he needs to have one to go down the trail, but I also feel like it communicates more clearly for precise work. I will probably add a bit to the equation today, and the surcingle tomorrow. I may not start driving him for a while because pulling is still on the verboten list for me.
I am hurting worse after two days of overdoing it, but I don't want to give up this new routine, so I'll probably just cut it shorter. Maybe the bit can wait.