Well, I had another nice lesson last night on Gus. After our usual lunge routine (where he had one really nasty almost fall) we started with our undersaddle work. Gus was VERY stiff starting out yesterday - not really sure why. I'm kinda guessing it was likely due to not being worked much at all over the past week, but regardless he did work though it fairly well.
After a few warm-up laps at the trot, we proceeded to work on some 20m circles at the major letters (CBAE). Over the center line, around I and L, B had placed a couple ground poles. We trotted over the poles only when we were on the circles at either B or E. Once Gus figured out that exercise, we moved on to 3-loop serpentines, using the poles.
Canter work was next and that ended up being a bit more challenging. Because we were, once again, doing 20m circles at the four major letters. Which meant that two circles included the dreaded ground poles. Gus figured out quickly that he could just spread his front legs out and canter over the pole, totally defeating the purpose of the ground poles (which I think was to get him to rock back more on his haunches?).
Anyways, we had some really nice moments both on the left lead and on the right. But we again had a very nasty stumble on the left lead ... almost brought us both down. Not sure what happened, I think Gus totally forgot to move his feet. We recovered and went on to end on a positive note.
Last night's lesson focused more on round, forward and soft in the bridle. This was the first time in a couple weeks that we hadn't worked on more of a jog-trot. So our trot work was actually, pleasantly, nice and forward. B even commented on it. Canter work, before the bad stumble, was fabulous - especially to the left. It was a nice, rhythmic 3-beat gait - very "rocking horse" like.
Hoping that Gus is on the up and up. Fingers crossed.