Since he injured himself in turnout last March, I've taken my time getting him back into work. I started working him in July, but I started with two weeks of gentle lunging. That progressed to a few minutes a day of trot until we worked up to walk/trot rides of 20 minutes or so. In August, I introduced a few minutes of cantering each day, first doing it on the lunge line. Not once has he taken a wrong step or had even the slightest bit of filling.
Over the last seven months, his top line has definitely suffered, but he didn't get fat, and I was able to keep his cardio fitness at a reasonable level. He never huffs and puffs during our work, but I am careful about how much I ask him to sit. Collection is hard when your butt muscles have almost disappeared.
I think a lesson with Chemaine Hurtado is definitely in our near future. I'll be curious to hear what she thinks about our comeback prospects.