After his feet problems and the cut under his leg, I haven't been able to ride him for months. Whenever I have to go too long without riding him he gets really mad and stubborn, trying to wheel around and run back to the barn, constantly gaping against the bit. Today however, he was great! I tacked him up in my dressage saddle with his spiffy new bridle , which looks gorgeous him him btw, and we rode in the arena.
No wheeling, no spinning for the barn, no gaping at the bit even! We had some trouble mounting in that he didn't like the scary new mounting block, but that'll be fixed before our next ride, guarenteed . So I got on the old-fashioned way and he was great from then on. He spooked once at cars, but I'm getting to know him a lot better so I calmed him down as soon as he sidestepped. We worked on giving to the bit mostly, teaching him to focus on me and what I'm asking, and giving me a nice, collected trot when I cue him for it. It's such a nice change, Excel's a disgrace to thoroughbreds in that he really doesn't care for speed! Fine by me, though.
Just wanted to share, I really think he's growing up and ready to start really working, dropping the games under saddle and leaving it for the pasture. He's much more focused and attentive, and hopefully I'll soon have access to the indoor arena by my house so I can work with him without the interference of snow. I'm so excited for this year, we've got eventing ahead of us, and he's totally prepared!! I have the feeling he'll make a nice HUS horse too, with his slow gaits and his super ability to work from behind.