Tonight was a night of awesomeness. So, as per usual, I had a lesson this evening. And unlike my usual lessons, this one was amazing.
So, I did start off with lunging Gus - and unlike the last couple times, today he was extremely stiff again. Again, it was strictly in the shoulders for the most part. We weren't able to get him loosen up much on the lunge, so once undersaddle work started, B got creative.
At the walk, we did this exercise where you walk about a horse's body length off the track - diagonally, then turn the shoulders back towards the rail. Think something like turn on the forehand, but not really. The object of this is to get him to move the inside shoulder out and around the outside, while making the outside should bear more weight. That exercise really freed up his shoulders but didn't solve the locked-up back issue.
So, B decided to have us move to the trot. On a 20m circle, whenever Gus tried to duck or drop behind the contact, I made him stay there. Think hyperflexion/Rolkur/super.duper.flexed. Granted this was an exercise to get him so over bent that his only option was to free up his back. Well, it worked.
Once we got Gus moving freely though his back (and not evading contact) we proceeded to do multiple 3-loop serpentines. Overall, we had some fabulous trot work this evening. Gus's back has never felt so relaxed and free. Or, I guess I should say it's been a long time since he felt that good. We even had the tail swishing thing going on. Yeah!
Canter work proceeded immediately after the trot serpentines. We started on a 20m circle and cantered about 1 1/2 circles, then at X we did a simple change of lead, then started a 20m circle on the other lead. Both canter leads were nice and fluid this evening. No bobbles. No bad steps. Just fabulous.
I have tomorrow and Friday, along with the weekend, off from work. My plan is to visit Gringo tomorrow and reevaluate his situation. Friday is D-day. Not sure what time that's going to happen as I'm still trying to get things figured out with L. I'm hoping to have him back at B's by early afternoon. Then Saturday and Sunday I plan on going out to see both boys and spend as much time as I can with both of them.
So, that being said, I'm not sure if I'll be heading out to the barn again tomorrow to work with Gus or just wait and work with him Friday afternoon. I'll have more photos and updates to come in the next couple days. I can't wait!