I filmed my ride on Sunny the Dragon the other day and tested a working hypothesis. Sunny lunges well and doesn’t appear to be lame at any gait. Under saddle, it is a different story because in addition to the bucking/kicking, he just feels off, especially at the trot. Throughout the whole ride, he never seems to settle in to any kind of rhythm. He doesn’t feel glaringly lame when I am riding him (of course I have limited experience riding horses that are lame) but I cannot seem to keep a comfortable rhythm and I feel like my hands are all over the place- alternating between bumping him in the mouth and losing any connection. I never have this much trouble keeping my hands reasonably quiet. He was a little better on Sunday when I rode him but I am going to keep taking it pretty easy.
I felt like we may have made some progress (due to my highly secret experiment) considering he was better behaved throughout the ride and we had some salvageable moments.
Work in progress, but I think I may be on to something with my top secret experiment- all in the interest of making Sunny more comfortable under saddle. I’d like to return to those halcyon days of April when I thought he was a misunderstood sweetheart.