Henry's flatwork update

I have been updating a lot on our jumping progress but have said very little about flat work. I am an eventer through and through, I know how important flat work is but jumping is just so much more exciting.

We school on the flat far more than we do over fences. When I first got Henry, he was fairly typical for an OTTB. He was crooked, had limited topline, some breaks, some go, but everything was very basic.
First lesson: the very start

One of the biggest things with Henry so far has been to get him straight. He bulges right constantly, falls in to the right, basically just doesn't do anything on the right rein too good.

To help fix this, I have to feel like I could turn right at any time. And sometimes to test it I will throw in a circle when we usually wouldn't. I have also been introducing lateral movements, and teaching him the difference between direct and indirect rein. The laterals really help with keeping him straight, and one of the take homes I got from my Manu lessons was to steer with the outside ear helps too.
Lesson with Manu: more top line

Recently I have noticed a huge difference in how much straighter he is. He falls in far less, and bends nicely on the right rein. His topline has improved, and he happily does shoulder fore in walk and trot. Canter is a bit harder but he can do a little bit. His leg yield is also quite established at a fairly basic level.

He get the correct canter lead most of the time, usually it's only wrong when my cue isn't 100%. He is quick off the leg, and stays in front of my leg during most of the ride. He does downwards off my seat only too! That's not 100% yet however is certainly there most of the time.
Early December: almost a proper horse!

You can see a huge difference in Hens way of going now, and I am pretty happy with where he is at having been off the track since April. I am looking forward to some more lessons in the New Year and I am going to commit to a training day as soon as one come up. He is ready to go out and be tested in a pressured environment.


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