12.02.19: Popping A Cork At 45'

After our single session a couple weekends ago we didn't get any more time to work before our lesson. I was totally ok with that because I felt that he was probably going to need a bit of a refresher and was going to experiment a little more on the 45' line than he has yet, so I was happy that Kirsten would be there.
He was filthy, so bad that he actually STUNK when I brought him into the barn. It was disgusting! I made a valiant attempt at grooming and vacuuming him, but I am not really sure that it did any good at all. He was still filthy, and probably still stunk! The giant black splotches from lying down in the wet muckyness didn't go away. Now it just looks like he's dappled trying to be paint.
I got him saddled since Kirsten suggested that it would be good to have that available, and I didn't think he'd want to work on the lunge line for 2 full hours anyway (he's got a lot of energy, but not THAT much!). I got him organized, and then carried just about every attachment down with me that I could think of just in case we might need it, and settled everything on the fence, and hooked up the 45' line. 
We started working to the right, and he settled in to the work pretty quickly. I let him have several laps to get focused on the work and find some balance on the line. He was not using all of it, and ended up making egg shapes leaning toward the gate at the far end of the arena more than he was making real circles. That took a bit of work to manage the line to feed it out to him as he would drift toward the gate, and then draw it back in again as he would pass around the far end of the arena. At least he was consistent!
He was settled enough that I began to ask him for the trot. I brought down a lunge whip this time instead of just the carrot stick, and that was a bit more helpful. He was sluggish to respond, though, and shuffled off in the trot without too much objection. He was managing his balance pretty well, but was not being super responsive. Kirsten said that if I needed to ask him several times to pick up the trot that it was time to go for the canter, so after the next request for the trot, I followed that with a request for the canter. I have chosen to click once to ask him to either step off at the walk or trot, and click twice in quick succession as the cue for the canter, that way there is no confusing how quickly I wanted him to move. So I bumped him to the trot, and then began clicking twice for the canter. He managed it with a little bit of encouragement, and it didn't look quite as bad as the mad scramble that he had been doing, though I think he was still counter cantering. He came back down to the trot and walk again, and I allowed him a little time, and then made the request for him to trot again. He picked up the trot and then I could see him winding himself up. I never asked for the canter, but he suddenly launched himself forward with rocket propulsion. He ran faster and faster, and hit the point where his trajectory pulled him against the line, and I kept my arms in and braced dropping my body to help lower my center of gravity to maintain control and he slowed down a bit, then launched off again, this time throwing in bucks and leaps and romps. He ran and ran slowing and then speeding up and adding in bunny hops and leaps along the way. It was tricky to manage the rope, but he never pulled me so hard that I ever lost the rope. Only once did he jump outward from the circle by about 6' which is normally the maneuver that gets the rope out of my hands. Thankfully I still had enough extra rope that I could feed out a bit more without hitting the end or losing the rope. He eventually began to slowly wind himself down again, but it took a long time. Kirsten kept guiding me through, helping to make sure that I was still steady. I let him slow down and eventually he returned to the walk. It took him a long time and he was breathing a bit heavy, so I left him to walk and think about it for a while. Kirsten said that even though I didn't ask for the canter, him choosing to do so on his own would actually produce the smoothest transition, so it isn't entirely a bad thing. I was glad that I defined my cues clearly - I only asked for the trot it was his choice to go into the canter, which he did in anticipation. He began licking and chewing as he walked, and probably did so for almost an entire lap. Once he really settled back down, I asked him again for the trot, and was pleased that he only chose to trot after that little experience. He got a bit worried, but didn't break into the canter again. I let him have a few walk to trot transitions before I asked him to try the canter again. He did it much smoother, and Kirsten was able to help me see when he was counter cantering (instead of having a diagonal in his stride, he has both legs on one side reaching forward the furthest, hard to explain with words!). He was mostly counter cantering, but was able to pick up his lead once in a while, though he might have had the wrong lead in there a couple times, too. He just can't sort out how to organize himself on the circle. 
After a few more mostly calm transitions into the canter, Kirsten finally recommended changing direction. He settled in, and so I asked for the trot once or twice, and then asked for the canter. He didn't lose himself completely, but he was a bit excited about it, and I could tell he was all over the place balance wise. He did try to jump back on me once, and the rope got a loop hung up in it, and as I tried to feed it out, that loop ended up getting caught up against my hand, so I couldn't feed it out any more and I got jerked forward when he jumped out about 6'. Thankfully I never lost the rope, but we did lose our stride, so I had to reel him back in and get him set up to keep working. I moved him through the walk and into trot and then canter pretty quickly to get back to what we were doing. After that, he never had any more total blow outs, and was able to much more calmly move into the trot and then the canter. 
She had me change back to the right one more time just to make sure there were no crazy blow outs left in there, and to really make sure he was using his hind legs well. We did a couple more transitions before I just let him come down to the walk and cool out for a while before wrapping up on the long line to ride.
He was quite accommodating to let me set him up and get mounted up, which was nice. I got settled into the saddle and away we went. We moved off to the right, and I worked on feeling where the high side of the ball was and finding the centered balance again. He was not that far off, which made it pretty easy to work on finding where his balance was and getting him reorganized. We worked for a while just moving slowly and finding the center and keeping the balance once we got there. He was tucking behind just a little bit, but with some encouragement I was able to push him forward so that he shifted more weight back and stepped out of that. We worked for a while to the right before switching to the left for a bit. It was a little harder to the left, I had to work more to make sure he didn't fall into the circle, which was more of a challenge for me and my left side. I found that I really had to work to shift my weight to the left to push him back out again on the circle.
We spent the last few minutes doing a little bit of trot work. He was moving much better, though I still had to concentrate very hard to keep him out on the circle to the left. I allowed him to start trotting and then would start rising, and somehow I was on the "correct" diagonal, which Kirsten pointed out. There was no purpose to it on my part, I simply started rising. She asked if I had done any practicing since the last lesson, and I said no, but that sometimes if I work very hard on something and then ignore it for a while I find that I can do it better than I thought I could when I stopped working on it last. So it seems that it might be coming together, which would make me feel good.
We wrapped up for the day, and despite only riding for a little less than an hour, it seemed like much longer! My legs had a workout in the short amount of time!
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