I think Hunter is part Wookie. When I bitted him up today he made a lot more of those bizarre noises. He is just protesting the bit, but he was not so bad this time.
Today he got the surcingle on and I did what I call line driving. For anyone who is reading this and learning it works like this. You essentially are behind the horse like you are pulling a plow, but there is no plow. You walk behind the horse and use the reins and your voice to control them. This will get the horse used to following commands when he cannot see you...like when you are riding him! Hunter did his best to get me where he could see me, but I kept darting around behind him to be square with his rear. I had the lunge whip with me,but that turned out to be largely unnecessary. Mostly I ended up using it to flip the lines back over him when he kept twirling to get me into his sight.
After he got this business of me behind him where he couldn't see me figured out, we went to go and whoa. Too easy. He had that figured out a good while back. Then we started steering. He had the basics of this figured out from yesterday's lesson. After only 15 min or so of this he was steering pretty well - by no means fluently, but nicely done at this stage.
Of course I stopped frequently and told him how great he was and petted him. He forgot all about how unhappy he was about the bit and stopped making Wookie noises.
Once, long ago, there was a Monday from hell
5 years ago