I gave Darcy the day off yesterday which he made the most of and enjoyed, maybe a little too much because today he saw the halter and decided he would rather eat grass than do something with me. He trotted out into the paddock and I followed him and then I got him doing a serpentine from using my bellybutton energy on his shoulders. Then I got him out onto a circle and used his hindquarter to keep him on the same circle. I gradually made the circle smaller and when Darcy tried to walk I asked him up again to trot and kept making the circle smaller. Then I asked him to yield his hind and after about a circle he did and then I drew him in and he had a bit of a lick and a chew. I walked off towards where I'd left my stick and string and Darcy came with me. Lesson learned for both of us - I learnt that I've made him work too hard a few times in the past week and Darcy learnt that sticking with me is much nicer than going out on his own.
After that we did some of the short range HiM things just at a walk, practicing sends, stops, lateral drift and just moving nicely with lateral flexion on the circle - first with the halter and then with the neck rope. Darcy gave me some great tries and was really picking himself up and he managed to lower his head by just a fraction compared to last time. Then we went on with the neck rope and while he wasn't quite as flexed, I could tell he was still trying hard.
I had a lightbulb moment with the lateral drift. When I was turning against Darcy to point my belly button at him to ask for the lateral drift he was bracing up and his head would come up a bit and he would stiffen through the ribs, then when I asked him to move laterally his hindquarter was lagging. Then I tried curving a bit and pointing my hip at his pocket and he picked up and moved laterally without the bit of brace. So I think my bellybutton lightsaber must be too intense and Darcy thinks I'm yelling at him, or me turning against him is pausing his forward for just a moment and thats causing the brace in him when I then ask his to go laterally when I've just blocked him. I have some pondering to do!