River is a character. I need to remember that he is like a rowdy child. He's the one the teacher puts right next to her desk. Riding River is like pinning squirming bug to the wall. Give him an inch and he'll take a mile. He can play and buck when he's turned out. When I get on, it's business.
I've started talking to him when I ride. I think it helps me work things out in my head.
It goes like this:
"Get off my leg!" kick kick kick
"Move your shoulders over." counter-flex
"Slow down" half-halt with outside rein
"Canter. No, NOW!" whip, buck
"Let's try that again, please."
"Much better! Good boy!" pat pat pat
"Let's call it a day." long reins