Yesterday a friend came over to ride Red. She's a good rider but about a decade out of practice. Red had been off for a couple days, plus the temps dropped a good ten degrees and he'd been in the night before because of thunderstorms. So I hopped on him first to make sure he'd be good.
He was good, but definitely forward. After she did some wtc for awhile, I got on to pop him over two tiny jumps I'd set up in the ring. (I'd dragged some blocks out of the barn to use as standards and every single horse spooked at them on the way to turnout yesterday. Never would have guessed that!) I'd never jumped him so I didn't know what to expect really, other than assuming he'd be forward.
HE WAS. The old guy took over two strides out the first couple times. We got on the same page eventually, but he's clearly happy to leave the stride out. When we got six strides trotting into a 60' line of two 2' jumps, I called it a day.
I don't want to over-do it with him, so I'm going to have to be disciplined. He's a really good jumper and clearly LOVES it. Tempting to jump a lot, but better to just jump a little here and there for longer. That said, I'm going to look around for some tiny schooling shows in October. I'd love to just do the little 2'6" stuff, which I don't think we'd have to practice too much for, thus preserving his leg.
And finally, I think he's looking better all the time. Not where I want him yet, especially going into winter, but getting there!