A big wish of mine is that Pan is just as fine in his reactions like Titum: without reins-influence, just a breathing out for a Stop, a weight shift for a Go or a turn.
If you continue to interact with him as nicely as you do now, I can promise you that we will get there sooner than you can imagine.
By the way, have you seen this topic Learning to ride... Speedy
, or the videos of riding Tamarack
for the first time?
Riding without reins really isn't something that is just for very advanced people or a few very special wonder horses. Just like you can start interacting on the ground at liberty right from the start, you can do the same with riding. I think it's more a question of whether you are willing to start with very small steps to develop a language together, or whether you want to get certain things done quickly (e.g. steering, different gaits). In the first case, it is possible that for the first few sessions the only thing you do is get on, reward and get off again, or walk just two or three steps and then stop. That's the same thing as we did with groundwork: We did not start by asking Pan for a complete sideways movement but by rewarding any slightest sign of attending to us. And once Pan's motivation and interest in doing focused work will be back, we can do the same with you on top.