Had a wonderful lesson today. Sphigi is improving far more rapidly than neither myself nor my coach had anticipated. I spent the week doing a lot of work in travers, and it certainly paid off. He was much straighter today, the canter had more jump and his back was really coming.
From a horse who didn't have a travers 3 weeks ago, he is now very confident in it and has started showing some really quality walk half pirouettes. In the canter, I was riding double shallow loops down the long side, which helped immensely to lift his shoulders and keep him straight, again the canter quality improved greatly.
My coach has given me 'permission' to ride him deep for the next week before my next lesson on Saturday. I've been a little hesitant to put him deep over the last couple of weeks, so I ran it by my coach today and we rode him a little deep today in all of the work. Straight away his back came, he was more willing to go forward, and there was a connection through his body rather than feeling like I am riding two separate horses.
Because of the improvement in just a week, my coach has discussed with me and we think it is time to look at entering him in his first comp, just a couple of prelim's to start with and get him into the swing of things before moving up to novice/elementary. Though within a few months he should be ready to go out in elementary. The aim now is to qualify in prelim/novice for the Spring Dressage Championships in October.