A little more work with Rio was on the agenda for this lovely, warm 1st of February. I took yesterday off because of a nasty headache, really sapped my energy even after it was gone. Today was 45 F, or +7 Celcius, and the snow is turning mushy and in the round pen it's only 4-5 inches deep and not bad footing. I took Rio over to the hitching rail and threw the saddle on him as if it was a broke horse standing there, led him over to the round pen and longed him in the bosal, he did really well both ways, and I know he's paying attention to me because every time I lose focus- like if I'm longeing him to the right and have to switch hands on the line so I can use my right hand to take a photo- he stops. There is absolutely no runaway in this boy, if anything he is quite willing to take it easy.
After this, I attached another line to the bosal and introduced him to the concept of ground driving. First, I put a line around his hip and got him turning, a few times each way, then encouraged him to step out ahead of me. I didn't do this too much, just enough to give him the idea that it's ok to move out with me behind him instead of standing in the center of the pen.
Normally, I ground drive in a snaffle bit, but I haven't put one on him yet because his teeth haven't been done yet, so this was an experiment driving him in the bosal. It seemed to work just fine. He turned and backed for me, and it was easy enough to get him steered in whatever direction I chose.
Love my boy!
Oh yeah- I measured him again today- 15 and a half inch at the wither, and 15.1 and a half inch at the hip. So in the last 4 months he has grown 1 1/4 inches at the wither and just an eighth of an inch on the hip.