I have to say...I think Moon is thoroughly unimpressed with Arizona.
See the thing is, there is a lot of space to ride out behind Mikey's place, and I have been utilizing it. We are spending a LOT of time doing this...
Round and round the bushes we go. Then we do figure eights. Then we do the 'barrel pattern'. Then we walk, trot or lope in a straight line, then we go around some more bushes. Over and over and over.
Moon's pretty sure this should be something that excites him and/or causes him to want to dive on top of a bush, or blow off, or not give and bend to the pressure....But he can't really figure out what that is because technically we are NOT on a barrel pattern...we are just riding.
And outside of me having to kick his ass for acting ridiculously barn sour one day, it makes absolutely no difference to me how goofy he acts or how much he charges around trying to ignore me. He figured out pretty quick that Arizona bushes are NOT worth charging over the top of (snicker), and while he might ignore my request to shape and circle 'this' bush...there are 9,000 more that I can send him around (giggles like a lunatic). And that is exactly what I do.
Believe me an hour and a half into these exercises, Moon was lathered...but much more docile and completely willing to shape the instant I picked up the rein. He was no longer trying to yank his head the opposite direction, no longer trying to shoulder the circle, no longer trying to rush through. Just nice, soft, willing circling. He'd move in and move out, I could shorten his stride or lengthen it out and he never lost his new-found softness.
Not only is this kind of riding the BEST thing I could ever possibly do with Moon, it's giving ME the opportunity to work on what I need to work on...maintaining a straight body, using my legs, lengthening my arms and keeping my chin up and looking.
BOTH of us are re-learning and establishing correct muscle memory...Without ever having to look at a barrel. This is so cool!!