It is in the trot work that I am really seeing the relaxation. One thing that I "discovered" on my own about the efficacy of lateral flexion is that when Izzy gets tense and braces through his poll, I flex him to the side and then I turn to look at the hip on the same side. I insist on the flexion as I ride him forward into the turn. Even though it feels like magic, I know it's just a matter of more weight being put on my inside seat bone and aligning my shoulders to his. It still feels like a magic trick though as his tension slowly melts.
For Monday's ride we did a fair amount of leg yielding in the trot before moving to the canter. And then in the canter, I again asked for shallow counter canter loops. I can't say that he ever truly gave to the right rein, but he actually settled in to a nice rhythm and accepted the half halts.
I am hoping to make the drive to Moorpark in a couple of weeks to meet up with Sean again. While it's more convenient if Sean could make it here, the trip off property will be good for Izzy. We're progressing slowly, but I still have summer plans for him.
A show maybe?