It was also a great experience for Izzy. When they all showed up last month, he spent the day vibrating with excitement. He bucked and played all day long. This time, he stood at the fence and just watched without all of the theatrics.
Chemaine had some excellent ideas for working on a horse who is a bit ouchy. Her plan was to get him focused on working without reminding him that he has a stubbed toe. We did a lot of the work at the walk where he is 100% sound.
The first exercise was simply to walk on a circle, halting every few strides. The point of the exercise was to teach him in really simple terms that he needs to be listening for a half halt. I put him in a walk, went a few strides, and then asked for a halt. Ideally, he should stop right away, but I was allowed to give three to five strides to make it happen. If he didn't stop, I used the reins hard to say STOP! I then reorganized him and sent him walking again.
This was actually hard work for him. Within a short time, he was breathing pretty heavily, but his focus improved with every half halt, and his foot hurt less and less.
I was delighted with how supple he got through his withers and neck and poll. He got lighter in the bridle and let me move his shoulders around.
Chemaine had me trot Izzy down centerline, leg yielding to the rail to put him on the outside rein. Then she had me ever so quietly give the canter cue in the corner. I would like to say that he just stepped into a lovely, uphill canter, but he didn't. He will eventually, but it's still a tense transition.
Once again I was able to ride twice on both days so there is more tomorrow!