We cantered today! Walked a couple of laps around the arena, trotted a couple and did some circles, and then I gave the canter cue. And kissed. And kicked (repeat 20 thousand times) and after a very fast trot about half way around the arena he finally gave up and picked up the canter. It was soooooooo nice!!! I think his stride is huge. I could not believe, though, how simple his canter seems. We cantered around, mostly on a loose rein (other than to steer) and he didn't speed up or freak out or take off in any way. I had to keep bumping him with my legs to keep him going. His canter already seems more balanced than my big 16-year-old gelding. Maybe it's because he's the opposite of riding a freight train. We'll see what happens when I take up some contact- but that's a ways away. I'd really like just to get him going enough to get him out on the trails for the summer. Going to start working on turning on the forehand (moving away from leg pressure) next time.
I'm concerned because at the walk he "clicks" every time he takes a step with his hind legs. It sounds like it's his LS joint in the pelvic area. It doesn't do it at the trot or canter, which doesn't make any sense to me. I'm going to call the vet on Monday.
He also put his tongue over the bit and left it there- quietly. No chewing, no tossing it around- just quietly put his tongue over the top and was happy as pie. Hrmph.
I was actually pretty mad by the time I rode. The other 4 horses don't just boss him around, they chase him across the pasture. He has 6-inch patches of hair missing in 3 places and lots of smaller patches. When they came near where he was tied up with their ears back (on the other side of the fence) I yelled and threw rocks at them. I wish my aim was better. The horse that was the previous underdog is the worst and meanest to him. I want to put a shock collar on him and zap him when the chase begins... grrrrrrr. I guess I should be glad he's light on his feet and can outrun any of them once he gets going. He follows me around the pasture when I'm out there, I think he's realized who will keep him safe.
The other day I went out to bring him in for lunch and he was napping. I walked up to him and he looked at me curiously. I scratched him all over and he just layed there. I put his halter on and he just layed there. After a while I stood up and he just layed there. I pulled on the lead rope... no response. I pulled harder, his head just moved a little. I finally had to get behind him and make noise and wave my arms around. He got half way up, then waited to see if I really meant it. I guess he's naturally trusting of people...! (Or really, really, really lazy).