Flagg is a different character altogether (as is every horse) and falls half way between the completely laid back Spider and the ever wild Tilly. It's very interesting to work with Flagg. He's a Regazzoni out of my mother's mare, Wencke. Wheels, too, is by Regazzoni and is quick and playful in his nature...boardering on obnoxious at times. Flagg has that same type of "what ya doin'? what we gonna do? pull my finger! look there's a squirrel" type of mentality that Wheels has. Fortunately, Wencke is very quiet and somewhat sensitive, so he is very easy to say "stop it" and get a reaction that doesn't involve having him stick his tongue out at you. He's very leggy and lanky still, so he's very awkward looking. He moves well, so we're putting him back to work.
Liz took Flagg with her to Riverhouse Hanoverians last year as a 3-yr old. After she came home, I rode him some and then we turned him out for the rest of the season and through the winter to grow and continue being a horse. I brought him back in to work last week and was pleasantly surprised to find a much more mature young horse. He's put on some size (or maybe it's all the hair), but his patience and work ethic are a breath of fresh air! The first day was simple lunging with the vienna reins. These had a lovely effect on Flagg who has the same type of contact issues as Wheels (can't wait to see if Tilly is like that too, also a Regazzoni). He was a little playful, but nothing you'd expect to see from a young horse who hasn't been touched in several months.
Yesterday, I started him on the lunge and he was a bit more exuberant. There were other horses working in the arena and he fed off them a little and wanted to yee-haw around. I kept him working until he was quietly trotting and cantering on the line. It didn't take much time. The reins were quite loose, but he still has the tendency to come behind. He was really bad with side reins and would make his neck very short; the vienna reins are much better. Liz got on as he stood quietly at the mounting block and then trotted and cantered very effectively, reins bridged the entire time. He was a star!
At this point, I have no real teaching piece to share other than to maintain a nice forward pace, explore all 3 gaits, and keep quiet contact. Remember the training scale at all times...rhythm and relaxation, suppleness, contact...impulsion, straightness, collection.