I played with his spins and he was not leaving. I gave him long pauses to process. I used a lot of contact with the savvy string/carrot stick to maintain a connection at first, then I reduced the stick. By the end of the session, it got to be more of a suggestion and less of a tell. I could send him, spin around myself, and he would be facing me.
The first time he left was during a circling game after a change of direction. I went with him and turned it into driving from zone 5. Again, it was really nice zone 5 driving.
Unfortunately/fortunately, I did not get to practice the zone 5 driving as much today because he only left once. That's a huge improvement. Looks like it's time to start upping the ante. Tomorrow I am going aim at the trot on the circle a bit more and cantering stick to me.
An observation I made was the feeling of the velcro NOT ripping apart, even though Blu wasn't moving. I was surprised at the solidarity of that feeling. Blu wasn't moving, but I could tell he was thinking and would respond once he decided what he should do in response. It's different from when he might just stand there and shut down/disconnect. This processing was super cool!
Then we ran/cantered to the top of the paddock, stopped and backed up.
It was a nice end, so I sat with Maree and we talked while Blu stood over us.