Shag has soured out a bit with the students. This means he doesn’t want to work for them and he is not going to listen. He and the student get into a tug of war resistance and he wins (only a 900# advantage in most cases).
I stopped using him for students a few weeks ago and I rode him. I rode bareback just walking for several rides so he could ‘tell’ me what the problems were.
The biggest was that people were relying on the reins for communication instead of taking their time to ask for what they wanted in the proper sequence. He let me know that if we will use words, sound and body for communication he is not only willing to listen but happy to give us what we ask.
This week I put a student on him for the first time and shared what I found. The last time she rode him it was the tug of war. This time, with the new approach, she was in high spirits. He became a willing partner for her and she learned so much about her responsibilities as a rider. All they did was walk but this a powerful lesson.
The rider enjoyed bareback because she felt she received so much more information from Shag than when she rides with a saddle.