This is more of me celebrating on my Dioshi's latest achievement... after several years of struggling with him to break out of this insanely fast trot into a gallop, we've finally made a breakthrough! Though not exactly in a way that I would have thought of...
I was riding with some friends... I was on Dioshi, and my friends were on Ruby, Magic, and Tanner. Well, Tanner was in heat, so she was a bit pissy, and Dioshi, being the friendly horse he is, just /had/ to cuddle up close to her at every chance he got, so I kept holding him back, circling away from her, etc. etc. At one point, he managed to get a bit too close, and Tanner kicked at him (didn't make contact, just a small squeal and cowkick) and Dioshi got scared, turned tail, and /ran/ a good several yards away from her (I got his bolting under control to where he was at least listening to my commands, and then allowed him to run, even encouraging him when he started to slow down). Well, we all had a good laugh about the only way he'll ever run is if he's running /away/, and then carried on with our ride.
When we got to an open area of the pasture, I decided to see if I could get him into a gallop again, and lo-and-behold, he transitioned perfectly from a walk to a trot to a gallop. I was so surprised I almost forgot to slow him down when we got near the muddier area! I gave him all kinds of pets and hugs and let him graze a little bit, even, then turned him back to my friends and had him gallop back, just as perfectly done as the last time.
I wanted to keep running him, but he's a lazy horse, and I figured the best reward I could give was to just walk him the rest of our ride and try galloping another day.
I'm just so proud of him... I had to brag on my boy's behalf! On Thursday, I'm taking him to the local arenas, where I can work on him a bit more (and the footing is waay better), and hopefully I can finally start him on a bit of flags or plug (I don't expect him to be awesome at it, but it at least gives him a 'job').