I didn't make it out to Sam at lunch time today but this afternoon when I got there he was at the gate looking hungry. I took him out for a walk and a pick. He walked with me nicely, head at my shoulder, stopping when I did, turn when I turned. We went up a lane way that we normally don't go so it was nice for him to listen. At the end of the lane way I let him have a pick before we walked up between two paddocks into a large open area. Something had him on alert out there but he didn't walk over the top of me and was happy to stand next to me. He prefers when he is like this for me to be lightly touching him somewhere. If I move my hand he normally turns his head and nudges me softly before looking back at whatever has his attention.
After letting him pick for about 30min I took him down to the riding area. I wanted to go down to one of the areas where he gets really tense. He was fine until we walked up the gully and he realised where we were. I had him on the lunge line so I let him go where ever he wanted to go. He marched around, snuffling, looking and finally grazing. I let him hang around for about 10min and then asked him further into the area where he gets tense. He refused. I just kept asking quietly and finally he walked up to me. We stood and looked around for a bit until he was comfortable to graze again.
On our way back to his paddock I lead him through a thick patch of trees. The footing was very soft and we had to duck our heads to walk through. Sam was very upset in here but he was very good and didn't jump on top of me even though I think he wanted to. When we came through and stopped I asked him to back up as he was on top of me - he was very clever and instead of just backing as that was making him go into a branch that was poking him he moved back but side ways. This was big because normally he would try and walk through me to get to a clearer area. We walked through this a few times until he seemed a bit more relaxed.
We stopped in the sun for a pick for another 10 - 15min to warm up (It is very chilly here today) I put him back in his paddock, rugged him and left him to go and get his feed. Now I found this very interesting. Normally he would stay in the corner watching me intensely waiting for his dinner if not calling as well. He walked off to the side and stood in a very relaxed manner, resting a leg!!!!!! (He rarely rests a hind leg because it used to hurt until the chiropractor came out and I have noticed him doing it a few times - not for long but still giving it a go!!!)
I might try that again tomorrow - just walking around his 'tense areas' It was good feeling that he listened to me and was able to chill for a bit.