I got a second email from Kelly about Boomer's training. He still sounds like himself. Here is what she wrote:
Boomer's doing good. We've had some issues with pulling back and breaking leadropes ( 2 ) but I've put a halter on him that kind of fixes that problem. It's called a "B-Good" halter and when a horse pulls back with it, it tightens up around their face until they step forward and then the pressure is released. It only took him twice and he's now got it figured out.
He's not spooking or anything. He just doesn't want to stand tied.
He really threw a fit when he tested it the first time but I've seen worse. At least he's smart and knows when to quit.
On the trails he's doing great! At first he was kind of hesistant about leading, going thru the mud and what not but now he's going like a pro. I'm planning on spending more time on him by himself this week.
I've been riding him with a twisted wire o-ring snaffle with a martingale and he's getting a lot softer in the mouth and starting to travel a little more collected.
By the time you pick him up I would like him to be in a shanked snaffle. Have a couple of different ones I'm going to try out on him and see which works best.
This gave me a lot to think about. I'm sure I will be thinking about all of this in the next few days and will hopefully have one more update before we go visit this weekend.
First of all, I kind of cringed when I read that he had broken two more lead ropes (that brings the total to around six). I evaluated my reaction and I think that I have been repressing and ignoring the pulling back issue. He is fine in cross ties and in all other situations, we just avoid tying- so pulling back hasn't been a 'problem' for us lately. In a way, I guess I had hoped that we could just ignore the issue for ever and never have to deal with it, because it is scary to see a horse pull back and flip over. After examining my response, I am really happy that she is working through this issue with him. I want, and need, to be able to tie him to the trailer, to trees, to anything.
When it comes to the riding stuff, I am letting her do her thing with him. I think that experience is the best thing for him. I did email her back and ask how he was doing with riding on the roads, being barn sour, etc.