So after being royally peeved off at the App, I finally broke down and rewatched some of Clinton Anderson's groundwork sessions for more ideas. Why Clinton Anderson when I don't agree with about half of his stuff? Because I do agree with *most* of his groundwork sessions, just not his riding and he is easy on my eyes. And I would rather watch a cute younger cowboy than an older cowboy who does similar things.
After some thinking and analyzing I realized that the App isn't nearly as soft and responsive as he used to be and no longer is giving to pressure. Laziness on my part I assume, as he used to do it and I haven't insisted he stay that way. So I took a break from riding these past few days and we focused on groundwork. We worked on yielding the quarters and sidepassing, of which he adamantly denied knowing how to do. Worked on changing direction on a lunge line and giving/turning to pressure. Getting him to give to pressure when pulling diagonally back is still a problem for him but we will keep working on it. We have had 3 good and hard ground sessions since Monday and already I can see a good improvement in his attitude. No longer is the App walking beside/in front of me when going to/from the pasture. No longer is the App walking with his head straight up in the air to see what is going on, he walks with it down and relaxed like a good horse. No longer is he making me go to him and put the halter on, he is now coming to me and starting to put his head down for the halter. No longer am I getting nasty ears when I go into the stall (which I never tolerated but would get them until I sternly corrected him). I had a short grooming session last night and actually enjoyed our time. Success!
Canceled my lesson for this weekend and will have it next weekend instead, hoping if I keep the groundwork up that I can ride on the road this weekend and not end up on the screaming beast. He's not doing it when we are in the arena so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Then with success our lesson will be great because he will have automatically stopped fighting me. Time will tell, am going to ride him tonight so we will see how it goes.