He is a much leaner horse than I am used to seeing. Some of that is him being my first TB, some is him actually being down in weight and the rest, well, the majority in fact, is because the poor guy has no muscle to speak of. He is 6 and has been trail ridden for most of the last 3 years. Watching the previous owner ride him before I got on, I can say for certain that it was with his head up, neck braced and back hollow.
He has already grasped the lunge line communication that I use for the most part. I can get all his gaits fairly lightly, both up and down transitions. We have begun the finer work like steadying him and getting him to slow and lengthen his stride.
On Saturday night, I rode him the first time since bringing him home. Just simple walk and trot to start getting a feel for what he knows and how he moves. Leg means go, end of story. The idea of lateral give is totally foreign. He is used to getting kicked and then the rider grabbing the reins. It took about 10 min to just get a relaxed trot that stayed trotting all the way around the ring. He really wants to be a good boy, he just needs guidance.
Sunday I introduced the side reins, just for about 5 min. He got the idea, but as I stated has no muscle. I was over the moon that he would relax into the reins and try to lift at the walk. At the trot, I got relaxation and called it a day. He was still warm through his back at feeding time so I rubbed him down with liniment and decided to give him a few days to recover before doing work again.