While searching for the non-existant one trick that would give me a finished dressage horse, I hadn't been paying attention to the progress that Izzy is making. We definitely still have wonky rides, but they don't come as often as they used to.
On our good days, we can trot a 20-meter circle while maintaining a consistent tempo while also being mostly steady in the bridle. Changes of direction still have to be done with a fair amount of preparation as his shoulders still need to be micromanaged. We can now (usually) canter a 20-meter circle when I want to without too much drama. Shallow loops and the long side are still too hard for us, but we're getting closer.
On Sunday, he gave me the best canter to trot transition possible. A judge would have given it a 10. He actually moved forward into the trot from the canter while maintaining an uphill balance rather than simply falling back to trot. It was amazing.
Patience with a good attitude is easy to do when your horse is being super-duper. I'll let you know how it goes when we have our next "suck-it-up-Buttercup" kind of ride!