I went riding today. I started riding Sunny. I worked on getting him to trot, then walk, trot, walk, trot, walk. It went really well, but what I really wanted to do was run.
So, when BJ was leaving, I took Bo and he took Sunny back to the barn. Bo was not so happy about running. He really didn't want to. He wanted to go back to the barn with Sunny and BJ. Every time we started running, he'd pull off the rails and turn around. Recalling what I had learned in the book, "Horses Don't Lie," I just had him go in a circle, so we were right back to where we were before he turned around.
In the past, when he did that, I continually pulled on the reins trying to get him to stay next to the fence. He would end up stopping, I'd fight with him, and eventually we would start running again. Although we always ran again, we still stopped while we fought about it. I would feel frustrated. He probably felt frustrated. Riding wasn't fun, and nothing would change. He would keep doing it.
By running him in a circle: we never stopped running; I never had to fight with him; he never got the break that he was looking for; he figured out what I wanted; and eventually, he stopped trying to turn around. It was SO COOL!
Sometimes, the solution is so much simpler than we know. Fighting with him... sucked... I didn't like it. I felt mean and domineering and I assume he didn't really like it either. I enjoyed riding him today and not fighting with him. It felt really good.