So I lunged Miles tonight, working a LOT on trot to canter transitions, particularly to the right. He got his lead every time, which is GREAT, but tells me obviously I'm doing something to make him crooked under saddle since we have somewhat of an issue getting that lead. ANYWAY, he's a good boy, I suck, no big news there.
After lunging (which I did in his leather halter instead of a bridle or his rope halter, just to see if he's gotten any lighter-he has! Again, good boy:), I worked on flexing him (getting him to give to pressure by turning his head and softening). NOT the thing to do in a nice, wide, comfy leather halter, I realize.
I stood at his left side, behind his shoulder. I set my right hand on his rump and brought my left hand up just past his withers, where I would ask him to flex if I were on his back. Miles turned his head, looked at me, leaned on the halter, and shut his eyes. You guys, it was the cutest thing. He was all, "I'm tired after all those transitions, mom. Thanks for holding me up." It was so precious. I felt really, really bad when I had to bump on him and make him give and soften before I let him relax. Training is training, sigh.
It's just amazing to me how far my boy has come. From not being able to leave the barn and screaming for other horses, to being so relaxed by himself with me in the ring that he can fall asleep. Love love love. Love my boy.
Mini flex! Also that lovely, soft expression I see more and more of these days.