Tonight I had an amazing lesson. It was our first lesson since (if I"m not mistaken) mid-August. Crazy! But Gus was truly amazing. We worked pretty hard, all things considered.
The lesson started off with some lunging, just to see what we were dealing with and to get Gus moving out and forward. Once the undersaddle work commenced, it was forward and flexing at the walk. And quiet legs! I have a major flaw of nagging Gus constantly - and I guess after nearly 12 years of ownership (and the development of a really bad habit) B wants to change that. So, quiet legs it was. And Gus was so much better because of that.
We worked on cavallettis and circles tonight. Starting off with the usual (haha) serpentines at the trot, we quickly proceeded to working with the cavalletti. B set the poles up down the center line, with three before X and three placed after X. The exercise was trot down the centerline, through the first set of poles, then a "figure-8" set of 10m circles, proceeded by continuing down the centerline through the final set of poles. Once we hit the long side, at E or B we through in a 20m canter circle. Rinse and repeat the other direction. Eventually we changed it up and instead of canter circles, we worked on moving off the leg (baby leg yields). Gus definitely does not want to move off the right leg (leg yielding to the left) ... but that's not really unusual.
We ended the evening with some canter work. First it was 15m canter circles on the short sides, followed by cantering down the long side on the second track. Followed by canter across the short diagonal and doing a few laps in the counter canter. Gus had a very hard time keeping the right lead canter going to the left (if I'm remembering that correctly). We ended up with some flying changes. Fun!
Regardless, Gus was a very.good.boy. tonight. I'm so very, very happy with him. He did get some banamine prior to our lesson, just to take the edge off. He'll be getting pre-med'd for the next few weeks, just as a preventative - though it'll be with bute.
The plan will be to keep working on keeping my legs quiet and getting Gus in front of my leg and flexing. We need to build his strength back up, so even if we don't have forward we need to have contact, connection and flexion. The forwardness will come with time. I'm not worried.
Now, next big question. Clip? or not to clip? Uggh!