I hope I didn't just jinx myself. Or Gus for that matter.
But I think I've almost got Gus back. We had another nice ride Saturday afternoon. Gus definitely is very, very stiff starting out, so much so that I don't think we'll be able to avoid not lunging prior to riding. Thankfully, he does seem to warm up and become more fluid-moving after about 15 minutes of lunging. Feels weird to be that rider that needs to lunge her horse before riding... least in my defense it's not to settle him down, but instead to get him moving freely before I'm up on board.
So yesterday we worked the on the same exercises that we had worked on during my lesson the previous Wednesday. This included: small (10-15m) trot circles at every major letter (ABCE), shoulder-fores down the long side, trot serpentines, counter-canter and counter-canter to true canter figure-8s. Gus definitely is starting to develop a stronger canter, especially the (true) right lead canter.
My biggest issue, per say, right now is when I ask for the walk and give Gus a break he immediate nearly stops. If he could be moving in reverse he would be, as he is that unmotivated at the walk. So now when he gets his breaks he's got to keep marching forward. Only at the end of the ride can he just stumble along, if he so chooses.
I do feel like my legs (and therefore hands) are improving but that's easier said the done. Not using my legs so loudly and excessively is starting to become easier, but I do still need to think about it nearly every stride. Hopefully within another month or two of consistent riding my bad habit will be a thing of the past.
I don't think I had mentioned it before, but Gus's old turnout buddy, D, is no more. He's turned out with another horse and that horse's buddy is now back out with Gus. N and Gus have been turned out before with little to no issues. It's great knowing that neither one will be goofing off too much in turnout. Thanks to D though, I just received my first bill for fixing one of two turnout sheets that was destroyed. A whooping $42.75 to wash ($10) and fix a sheet. Sheesh. Thankfully the other one should be cheaper as it wasn't destroyed nearly as much. And neither Gus nor N are blanket destoryers... Still makes me mad though but I'm glad that Gus isn't being harassed anymore. He's too old for that.
I'm still wanting to get Gringo a new blanket though. Not entirely sure why as he rarely ever wears one. His Masta is just a tad too short, length wise. Least the drop doesn't make him look like a fat guy wearing an A-shirt. Just can't decide what type I want to buy... love the look of the Weatherbeetas but I've had issues in the past with fit. And I do like the design of the Amigos/Rhinos/Rambos but Gringo is a broad-shouldered boy... I guess we'll see where I can find a deal.