This time I brought up the side reins with me and I put on his bridle. I didn't know if I would connect the side reins or not but I figured it was good to have them hung on the surcingle so he can get used to the flapping again. Initially he really didn't want to slow down so I stuck with walk-halt for a while. He didn't really want to let me set the pace so I had to stay persistent. He was not disobedient per se but 'obedient' was not a good descripter either. Let's use the word 'negotiating' to describe our conversation:
me: "walk on"
Steele: "yay TROT"
me: "no walk"
Steele: "what? I can't hear you!"
I slowly brought in the lunge line
Steele "hey I can't trot this small a circle!"
Me: "I know"
Me: "now walk on"
Steele: "TROT yah!"
Steele: "hey! No. TROT"
Me: *sigh* "walk. now HALT"
Steele: "it's not fair"
Me: "don't worry. It will be fine"
Once we had a reliable walk-halt-walk I asked him to trot. We then repeated the above with Trot-walk-trot transitions. I have to remind myslef that it was session #4 which was a week after Session #3. And he's just 3. For that he was quite settled.
I also spent some time rubbing him with the lunge whip to make sure that he was not afraid. Not that I thought he was but it's good to repeat things.
Things were going so well that I hooked on the side reins (on the longest setting). He tossed his head a few times as he walked around but didn't seem too fussed.
Then it was Irish's turn. I decided to leave Steele in his stall. Like I said earlier, I want them both to be fine with being alone whether that is in the barn or the field. Steele was not impressed with being left in the barn and called plaintively for the first bit. My ride on Irish was quite pleasant. He was responsive and forward and we worked on suppleness and softness. When we got back to the barn Steele was happy to see us. But I was pleased to see that he was not frantic nor was he sweaty. So I'm thinking that the stress level was not too high. I'm glad that I've been keeping myself fit over the winter. Keeping 2 horses going is going to be hard.
Tomorrow we're due for a large amount of rain so I don't know what I'll be able to do with them. However, I will clean tack and console myself that it's not snow!