The next ride involved more trotting. By the third ride, we were doing all three gaits. I kept it in my mind that he wasn't as fit as he was three months ago, but he didn't seem to remember that.
Even though I know he needs time to increase his strength and fitness, we're already schooling the movements from Second Level, Test 1. I know I say this all the time, but this horse is amazing. He has picked up exactly where he left off.
On Christmas morning, he actually gave me a really crisp canter to walk followed almost immediately by a walk to canter on the new lead! We were struggling with it three months ago, so I don't know where that came from.
The other issue, and this one really plagued us last summer during those hot show days, is that it is really hard to keep Speedy going at the collected canter. If I take my leg off for an instant, he either comes down to a trot or he anticipates a canter to walk transition. He definitely needs a lesson in keep going until I say otherwise. Also known as USE THE WHIP!
We don't have a lesson scheduled as of right now, but Chemaine's schedule is about to change in a big way, so I think we might soon be getting as many as two or three lessons a month.
Believe me, we need it!