Well the weather has been great and both Fox and I are feeling good.
Monday I didn't have a lot of time so I decided to try lunging. Wow, what a difference in attitude from Fox. Not sure what has brought about the change, maybe the groundwork, maybe me not letting him get away with stuff. He was responsive to all my voice commands, walk, trot and whoa. He was attentive and his ear was on me the whole time. He switched directions calmly and smoothly and best of all no stink eye not even once!!! I set up some trotting poles and a little cavaletti jump to make thinks a bit more interesting. Fox calmly trotted around, stretching down nicely over the poles. He did do quite a big jump over the jump that was probably no more than 20cm high, silly horse.
Did an hour of schooling on Tuesday. Started with stop go signals. Fox responds really well to light aids from my legs to go but stop signals need a lot of work. His head pops up and his mouth gapes even though I'm not asking in a very strong way. So lots of work on that. Did some steering and figure of eights for suppleness. Fox felt like he needed a blow out so I let him have a canter around the outside of the whole arena. He leans something wicked on the corners and is bent all the wrong way so we probably won't do too much cantering until he is a bit more balanced. Because he was so good, we finished with a few jumps which Fox was a bit keen for. Another thing to work on.
Wednesday was more schooling and a quick hack. We worked on transitions, mainly on getting that stop signal lighter and light so Fox doesn't feel he has to gape. Did some serpentines and circles again for Fox's suppleness. He is the most stiff horse. Had a nice little hack down to the estuary. I let Fox have a bit of a paddle but he wanted to splash so that was the end of that!
He has a couple of days off now and I'm going to try and go for a nice long hack in the weekend should the weather cooperate. I also need to pull his mane, trim his tail and rasp his hooves. He's a bit of a wild beastie at the moment.
I have the number of a qualified horse chiropractor who has been recommended to me. With Fox still so stiff I'm sure there must be something going on. Still need a saddle fitter too. To my inexpert eyes it looks ok, no rocking, no light, lines up with his shoulder, lots of clearance along the spine and no dry spots. But maybe I'm missing something.
Needless to say, my partner thinks horses are great!! All this money being put into a giant poop machine!