In spite of very easily going through puddles after rain, he was a bit spooked by the water. He stopped about 10 feet away and stared, I could feel his heart pounding. He almost followed the other horse in, but hesitated a bit too long. The second trip the other horse took through he did follow him in. We walked through it from every direction then incorporated it into a little series with two jumps, a trot through the water, then a trot up and down a mound. He trotted right into the water, no problem. Test one passed with flying colors!
The second test was seeing what my dressage trainer thought of him. Fortunately, he LOVED him. He was amazed at how recently he had come off the track and how quiet his mind was. In our first lesson he was already starting to come round and soften over his back. He declared that he was amazing and at his price was a steal. Hooray! I brought him back for a second lesson the next week because I was concerned I was messing him up - we had some right head tilt going on - the mare I was riding before him also had done this some - common denominator... hmm... He quickly helped correct that - a combination of pulling with my right (inside) hand and not maintaining contact with the left (outside). AND in spite of his declaration from our first lesson that we would not canter for a month, we got to move on to a few canter circles. Shidoshi was fantastic. I had started exploring/learning how to truly canter with the mare I was riding before him, really communicating with her back and as the dressage trainer describes it "Squeeze to slow, squeeze to bend" - he doesn't ask for half-halts during the canter, rather a reapplication of the aids used to ask for canter every other stride in order to engage, soften, and maintain an even rhythm. Shidoshi quietly accepted this and responded beautifully. He quickened and tried to run a bit when I pulled on the inside rein, but as soon as I fixed myself, he softened and kept a steady, even rhythm. It was an AMAZING feel!
The final, and most important, test was his PPE. It was postponed by a week because he managed to slice the front of his hind leg up in a fence, probably kicking over it at the grumpy mare in the barn. While he was fine and sound the leg was quite swollen to the point that trying to palpate tendons would not have been possible. His PPE went well, negative flexions all around, no surprises with heart, eyes, mouth etc. And so it was made official!
JC name: Shidoshi
Barn name: Yoshi - this happened while I was not renaming him until it was official but none of us could actually call him Shidoshi
Show name: Lyrical
Welcome home dear heart, whatever your name is!