On day 1 (Wednesday of this week), M warmed the horse up with the groundwork he's familiar with. The hardest part was getting on, because he was afraid of the mounting block, afraid of me standing on the mounting block, afraid of standing next to me standing on the mounting block, etc. We were calm and patient, but also very persistent, and we took things slowly but I had clear expectations of him.
While mounting and for the first few minutes under saddle, I asked Brantley to flex his head around. This prevented him from bolting, let him see me on him so he knew what was going on, and made his "space" a lot smaller than the big ring.
On Day 2, I expected him to be more tolerant of the mounting block, and also I expected him to be comfortable with me standing next to him. He's very smart and caught on quickly. We started off on the line and then M let us go. Our goal for the day was going w/t around the whole ring off the line.
This was M's first time riding her horse...we're not going to count the attempt that ended so badly a few months ago :D
On day 3, we quickly got past mounting and going w/t on the lunge line. We cantered in both directions with no issues. I asked M to set us free, and we went off and w/t/c'd around the whole ring.
Then M got on and here is the result:
So it has been a very happy week here at the barn!