Today Louie was all wound up for some reason. I attempted to ride, but he was really nervous, gawking at everything, wouldn't listen, and when I asked him to go sideways because he was being stupid looking at something, he ground his teeth and acted even more wound up. He pooped 4 times in about 10 minutes of walk-trot work. We got some decent walking in, but every time as soon as we tried to trot, he fell apart and was back to his nervous behavior.
So I thought, I'm not going to fight this battle today. I hopped off, hooked up some side reins, and lunged him for about 20-30 minutes.
He started off at a racetrack trot. Shortly after taking off at a trot, he started bucking, kicking, and just working out some of the extra energy that was apparently built up inside of him. I was worried he was going to kick one of the walls, but thankfully he didn't. He continued this fast trot- buck/kick routine, then cantered, bucked a bunch of times, and thought he was pretty hot stuff. So we just kept going. . . I was glad I wasn't riding.
Eventually he settled down and actually relaxed. I was able to ask him to lower his neck by wiggling my lunge line and praising him. He picks up on that type of thing pretty easily. By the end I had a very nice training level trot that was relaxed, round, and active. I also had a very sweaty horse. . . we'll try again tomorrow, and hopefully I'll have a cooperative animal!