Siaga and I went for a ride today. Instead of the normal routine, I took everything up to the barn and got him ready in the paddock and we rode around there after a lunge for a while, working on "whoa" and "go." And then we went for a while down the road.
Here is what I have learned today.
The good: Siaga will now usually whoa when I ask him to, and will usually stand still after that. Siaga also will usually turn direction with a shift of the reins of the reins and a press of the leg and a turn of the seat bones. Siaga will, almost without fail, start walking when I ask for it by walking my seat bones. These are all VERY wonderful things, and I can see in him a truly wonderful dressage horse in the making if we ever get over our fears.
The bad: Can we say... barn sour. Only he's sour for the yard, not the barn. He actually doesn't want to go back to the barn and pitches a fit if I try to ride him back to the barn. He just wants the yard with the grass. Sometimes he was ok, moving forward easily, stopping when asked, turning when asked, other times, he'd get himself stuck in reverse and back up in the ditch and try to turn around and I lost count of how many times I popped him with the riding crop. A few times I even got off and walked him through the sticky areas and remounted when we got past it. But there are so many deep ditches, and he through a fit by a bridge where the drop off is 5 or 6 feet, and it's just sooo dangerous.
I'm planning on getting him to the barn where I take my lessons (when I can afford them again) and having my instructor work with both of us at once.
He also has issues with standing still while I am mounting up, though I can actually mount from the ground in the dressage saddle now if I need to.
The ugly: He only works when he wants to, or when there is no grass to distract him, or when there is no barn or yard to run back to, or no dogs to scare him. UUUUGH.
He really is like riding a giant troll. lol.