As much as I say I need to go slowly with Spider, I do have to keep things interesting and progressing forward. He's very happy to w/t/c on the longe with tack. He's not very forward thinking and his big body works against him a bit on the circle. I don't have a round pen for him to move freely in and I'm not a fan of babies working free in the indoor since they tend to run and stop short in the corners and can injure themselves. Plus, I've always been nervous about working horses free with tack. I can only see accidents happening and it would be very difficult to avoid one if something were to arise. I know many trainers recommend working horses free in full tack and side reins (including Ingrid Klimke, my idol), but I won't do it.
As of yesterday, seeing how quickly Spider is taking everything in and enjoying the work, we need to get on him. He needs to work in straight lines and get off the longe for the benefit of his stifles. He needs to strengthen by going straight and getting off the continuous circle and hopefully hacking sooner rather than later. Although he was timid and spooky in his early days, he has learned to draw confidence from his person. I hope this will really carry over once someone is aboard and he'll feel like the king of the world. He's so proud of himself right now and I can only imagine his joy with a rider on his back. "Look Flagg, I'm a big kid, too!"