I like to believe I'm a "thinking rider." I do a lot of thinking about the ride, the horse, the training, the problems, both in and out of the saddle. Sometimes, I believe I do think too hard about it and make some things more difficult than they need to be.
I've been rolling last weekend's fit-throwing by Gabe over and over in my head: Did I handle it right? How could I have handled it better? What was going through his head? Why? How can I get him over this with the least amount of battling with him? Would he have pulled this crap if he trusted me more? How can I build his trust? Am I a strong enough leader or do I need to work on being stronger so he has more confidence in me as a leader?
See how that works? I'm driving myself crazy!
But, I have come to a conclusion. When I start adding up all the little things he does from time to time I've determined there is a lack of respect and trust in my leadership by him of me. That's something I will have to remedy.
And that means I'll be going back to groundwork with him for a while. I haven't done any kind of groundwork or ground driving with him for about a year and it's been about six months since he started noticeably trusting my judgement less and less. So, it's time to brush back up, get his butt OUT of my space and get him moving his body and feet in the direction I want them to move when I want them to move, not when and where he thinks they should move.
The timing is actually just about perfect. We are entering that time of year when my ground becomes more bog than dirt and makes riding rather sloppy. But it's fine for ground work for the most part.
No, I'm not going to stop riding to concentrate on groundwork, but I am going to fit groundwork in for every single session. He still needs as many wet and icky saddle pads as I can possibly muster up!
I think it will make a difference. I HOPE it will make a difference.