The remainder is a description of the events as I recall. I may unintentionally misrepresent what the trainer said so please don't take this as his training method but my interpretation of it. I'm also editing a bit so you don't have to read me droning on and on.
I figured he was going to lunge and drive him again. He came with 'stuff' including his own lunge whip (purple), lunge line with chain (I worried a bit about that but more on it later), his helmet and saddle. "I like to be prepared for everything" he said. He also said that it was his job to make sure that this was a good day for Steele, not a bad day.
I groomed Steele and put on his boots. Royce then led him up to the ring. I told him how our week had been including that my leading him through the woods and how he wouldn't spook no matter what I did. he commented that Steele must trust me. Which I would agree with - I trust him as well.
As he started, Royce warned me that it takes as long as it takes. And that he won't hurry the process. That's fine with me. He started in the barn teaching Steele to lower his head with pressure on the poll. The idea is that this is calming to the horse. Once he learned that Royce used it periodically during the session to return to something Steele understood and to help him relax. It was then up to the ring and he hooked on the lunge. He took the line and wound the chain up and over the nose band and through a strap.
|Irish was riveted (so that's what it looks like )|
|at the beginning: "so what are we doing? "|
|note the listening ears|
|note the slack in the line. There was no 'holding'|
|Steele relaxed and Irish watching|
this all went on for a while. Then Royce brought Steele over to the gate. I figured that we weren't putting the saddle on next but calling it a day. I was wrong. The saddle went on. He walked him a bit to let him get the feel and then took him to the middle of the ring. He put his foot in the saddle and hopped up a down a few times. Steele didn't move. After a few trials he put his full weight on:
|Steele figuring out what was going on Again note the slack in the line|
|then everything was repeated on the other side|
|and then he was on.|
He did it so quietly and smoothly that Steele and I didn't notice what happened but there he was. He did this 2 more times and then he dismounted and that was it. Steele was quiet going back to the barn and seemed happy enough to get his hay (after all he hadn't gotten to eat for a LONG time).
That night I took him out to crop on some grass. I really hadn't thought we were going to get there on saturday. Somehow I expected a bigger a lead up. But I can see how well this went so am not going to argue.
I don't know what he thought about all of this but I know that we are embarking on the next big step of our partnership.