Believe it or not, he gets just as much attention as does Izzy, but since he's so well behaved anymore, he doesn't get as much press because it's a lot of BORING.
There haven't been any spectacular AHA moments, but there have been some pretty spectacular moments. Just the other day I got some comparatively nice trot lengthenings that had some real oomph. I like to work up to the trot lengthenings by doing ten-meter circles first. These seem to put him on his rear end a bit as well as create a desire to really MOVE.
I did three, 10-meter trot circles down the long side, and when we came out of the second corner, I counter flexed him just a bit to get his shoulders back in line, and then gave a big push with my seat. Speedy shot forward and upward into what felt like a First Level worthy lengthening of the stride at trot. I gave him lots of loud YES! YES! YES! praise all the way across the diagonal. Speedy understands verbal praise and loves it.
- Pick up a canter tracking left.
- Canter the long side in true canter.
- At A, canter a 10-meter half circle into a tear drop so that you're back on the same long side you just came down.
- Now you're in counter canter.
- From S do a 20-meter half circle to R in counter canter.
- From R cross the diagonal, circle at A to rebalance the left lead canter, and then repeat the exercise.
- Or, you can stay on the long side and do a change of lead (flying, simple, or through the trot) at B or P and repeat the exercise, this time on the right lead.
Speedy's not really balanced enough to make the half circle in counter canter only to do it again. And he doesn't feel ready for a change of lead through trot. Yet. I am doing this exercise in a short court though which means I don't have much time after the half circle to rebalance him. If we do the exercise a few more times, I think we'll be ready to continue it in either the same lead or on the other lead with the change through trot.
For us, the main benefit of this exercise is that it really reveals where Speedy is "sticky." It takes a lot of effort on both our parts to help him pick up the inside shoulder (which becomes the outside shoulder) in the counter canter. The exercise Chemaine showed me where I change the bend no matter which way we're tracking has really helped. The more I can bobble head his poll and neck, the easier it is for him to get soft in the counter canter.