Today, I wanted to try to transition to my giving the "walk on" cue from his back- something I hadn't been able to get him to understand when I worked alone. He would move, but felt this awkward weight on his back (me) and found it easier to go backward or sideways. Because he is so sensitive, there wasn't anyone I felt comfortable asking to lead me. But now I had an accomplice.
Before we could do that, I needed to teach Anna my routine. She had participated yesterday, but as the rider, not the handler. I sent her off around the cone circle with him, but there was something (can't remember what now) I wanted to demonstrate to her so I approached them. Percy pinned his ears when I got close. Aha- I was confusing him again. I am his person, and here I was approaching but Anna was a perfectly good vending machine so now what was he to do? We decided to take turns being his handler and Anna came up with a wonderful "transition" exercise. When we switched handlers, the new handler would offer a fist target a couple times as the other person left, and then the new handler took over. That person would do a circle or two and then we'd swap again. He could look forward to the new person approaching because that person would offer a fist target he could interact with, and then he'd get to work with them.
It worked quite wonderfully. And I was able to get on, swing my legs a bit, feel my wonderful boy and take some steps. Because we had done so much before getting me on, we didn't do too much after that. But she'll be here tomorrow too!