On the plus side, some of the training's gone really well. He now accepts having a scarf passed over his nose and put around his neck so comfortably that I can hold it up and he puts his nose into it by himself. This is a major achievement for a pony who used to be extremely head shy. I've done some work with him previously and he's much better than he used to be, but the scarf obstacle made me put some more time into it and he's really improved again.
But his attention has been drifting during the courses and that's almost certainly due to the time of year and his restrictions on time at grass. So it may seem to be a strange thing to do but yesterday after 2-3 rather average rounds of the course without any noticeable improvement, I decided to try him out at Liberty. It was a calculated risk. Would he take his chance and run off for more grass? In fact, it turned out rather the way that I hoped it might. He ended up being alot more attentive and more focussed than he had been on the lead line. It still didn't go quite as planned, but this time for all the right reasons. His play drive came out and he started to offer me his own interpretations on the obstacles, including following me perfectly - but backwards...... I laughed so much....... And sometimes, that's just exactly what it's all about :-D