I never have a plan when I ride Izzy. I work on what he brings. Some days, it's simply working through tension. I've discovered that no matter how fresh or well ridden he is, cloudy, oppressive days are not his jam. I don't blame him as I hate that kind of weather myself. Those are the days when I just work on stretching and relaxing.
I finally realized that he's now ready for a shorter frame. He hasn't been such a fan of the concept. Instead of rounding and pushing, he gets round and leaves his hind end trailing behind. I can't add enough leg to encourage his butt to join us. On those days, I have to actually take my legs off and WHACK him with my heals. Over and over.
For a week or so, I got tired of it and brought out the whip. Izzy hates the whip and is actually a little afraid of it. Without even needing to use it, he engages his hind end instantly, but then he tighten his back, sucks in his neck, and figures traveling at supersonic speed is the answer. Suddenly, his 12 foot long frame is closer to 6 feet, and not in a good way.
He now has a forward thinking leg yield, a rhythmic trot half pass, and his canter to trot to canter across the diagonal is pretty balanced. In fact, he can do all of the movements from First Level Test 3. On the days where I can get him in front of my leg AND relaxed, we school the simple changes and canter half pass.
That's okay, because I am not in a rush either. I am having fun with him, and I know he adores me. He's a regular love bug. He's bitten off more zippers than I can count; he loves to slide them up and down, and he thinks it's quite hilarious to gently grab the back of my breeches and snap them. I also get a daily neck and shoulder rub. Occasionally I have to remind him that there is skin underneath those clothes, but he's usually pretty careful.
Speedy's the horse that I can drive toward a goal. He can handle the mental pressure. Not so with Izzy. He's my take it day by day horse. I am happy, and they're both happy. We make a pretty happy threesome.