So, we headed out and he immediately started trying to go backwards. He was looking out towards his paddock with his head high and ears up. So, I backed him for a while and then gave him the option to go forward. He went forwards about 30 feet, then started backing and trying to spin. I tried backing him but felt too much resistance for my comfort (ie, next step was a rear), so I hopped off an chased him around me a few times. Then I got back on and we went another 30 feet. More of the same shit. I think I got off three times before he started to settle down. We were never relaxed though, lest you get the wrong idea. On our way back, I made him serpentine his way along the path, sometimes circling back the other way. He was better but I have a hunch he knew we were headed home. So, we got home and I put him in the cross ties as usual, took off his bridle and put on his halter. Then, I brought out the lunge line. We headed into the indoor arena and we cantered and trotted for 15 minutes until he was dripping with sweat. I think he has gotten out of shape! Then we went back to the cross ties, where he stood saddled while I put away my grooming box and got the hose out. After I unsaddled him and hosed him I took him and the lunge line out to his paddock for more work. I lunged him for about 20 minutes until he was totally dry, then I let him go.
He was worse on the trail than he has been, but I worked the hell out of him twice for it. I plan on using the same tactic tomorrow, though I might lunge/work him before the trail ride as well. I have a feeling that it will only take a week or so of this before he learns that the trail ride is the relaxing part, if he would just keep his shit together. The plan is in action and moving forward at full force. I hope it works!