Not all of the time of course, but lately, he's been putting on his big boy pants. After I rode Speedy through all of those (attempted) flying changes, I hopped up on Izzy for a second lesson in the same day.
I told Chemaine Hurtado, owner and trainer at Symphony Dressage Stables, that I really just wanted some feedback on how he was moving compared to our last lesson in ... early June? Turns out, she couldn't say enough positive things.
It was after our last lesson in June that I decided to move Izzy into the dressage legal bit for good. It wasn't easy, and it has taken months for him to relax the same way he did in the ported bit, but I feel confident that the worst of the drama is behind us.
Here's a quick minute of some trot work.
We then played around with some leg yields and even a bit of half pass.
I finished up the ride with a bit of canter, including counter canter from Second Level. Then I asked Chemaine to get on him. While I love getting a trainer ride for both of my horses, what I really wanted was for her to feel how much more relaxed he has become. Her feedback tells me what to work on next. Plus, when I watch Chemaine ride, it gives me a good model to try to emulate when he gets sticky or tense.
This horse has never been easy, but it has been very rewarding bringing him along. He makes my heart sing. Usually. Okay, sometimes.