Solo cantered beautifully yesterday and today he is having a well earned day off. It was the first day that Selena and I have both been there together in about four months.
We lunged him and then loose schooled him a little in the indoor arena. He is obedient to loose school and settles to a steady rhythm in all his paces. Since Selena has been home he has been lunging in the de gogue. While she was in Florida she had the de gogue with her and I was lunging him in side reins. I really notice the difference in this horse when we change back to the de gogue. He finds the work much harder and has to engage a little more to balance himself. Some horses just seem to lunge well in a de gogue and he is certainly one of them.
When he was balanced and overtracking on and off the lunge, Selena hopped up and I stayed in the center of the arena. We trotted him both ways and then, backing up her aids with my voice commands from the centre, he had no trouble understanding what we wanted him to do. As you can see from the photo (I know, it’s a lousy, blurry photo, but I was excited….and I jigged a bit….sigh) he lowered his head and neck right down but followed it up with a lovely deep steady stride of canter and had absolutely no trouble balancing and cantering quietly on both reins. Yippee!! He also finds the trot poles very easy to work his way through and carry the rider’s weight. With the winter of poles on the lunge and other exercises, he seems to have no issues with doing the same stuff under saddle.
Solo really seems to be enjoying his lessons again. From when we fixed his sore withers, things have been moving along really quickly. He looks and feels very rideable now. He is still opinionated of course….Rome was NOT built in a day.