Whohoo! Today is Wednesday and that meant lesson time. I haven't had a lesson in AGES! It was definitely long overdue. So what exactly did we work on for nearly an hour? Serpentines. Leg yields. Butt.to.the.wall.leg.yields. Rinse and repeat.
After warming Gus up on the lunge line (which for once, he was nearly an angel) we started up with undersaddle work. First it was just me getting him to give to the bit. Once I had a little be of flexion going on, we proceeded to trot serpentines (3-loop). Once we got to the short side again, we rotated from doing a leg yield down the long side to doing a butt.to.the.wall.leg.yield (hence forth, b.t.t.w.l.y). It took a bit of convincing from B to get Gus to yield his butt to the wall, but he ended up being a pretty good sport. The first couple b.t.t.w.l.y's ended up more like a shoulder-ins, which would have been great had I asked for that ... but eventually Gus got the point of the exercise and we had some nice steps.
Once we had a walk break, we ended the lesson with basically the same exercise, except with the canter added. We began with a three-loop serpentine, once we were finishing the last loop, I asked for the canter. We cantered down the long side then turned down the center line and trotted through the trot poles that were set up. Then changed directions at the end of the center line, began the three-loop serpentine again, thus repeating the same exercise.
He was definitely more comfortable going to the left, with his right stifle being the issue today. We actually had some lovely canter strides from time to time. B even commented that for a brief second, I had the old Gus back. Then that Gus was gone, only to be replaced with the current one. B did note that while he's not lame or even off, he is very ouchie on his front end. I do hope that corrective shoeing will help, however we have to wait until the mud comes and goes before we can attempt that.
So, while we still have a lot of issues and problems, it doesn't seem like having a month off did too much harm.