I got him out and groomed him up before she arrived. I had plenty of time, so I even combed his mane out (again) and his tail (for only the second time since I've had him), so he was a picture of palomino beauty when she arrived. Last time, I'd gotten all the tack out and ready, and we proclaimed him too sore to ride, so this time, I hadn't jinxed it, and had left all the tack safely ensconced in the tack room and had to fetch it. But first I showed her how I could poke and prod at his back with nary a flinch to be seen.
Anyway, we saddled, and he still didn't love the cinch being tightened, but was MOSTLY a good boy. We took him to the round pen, and SweetPea stood outside while I showed off his new attitude. He walked in quiet calm circles, turned a couple times, then trotted in quiet calm circles, then cantered both directions, then trotted a bit more. We backed and pivoted a tiny bit, and he got some good scratches and rubs for being a good boy.
SweetPea asked if he knew how to one-rein stop, and I said I hadn't a clue, so she spent a few minutes trying to ask him to bend his neck. He kept trying to pivot his whole body instead, but eventually clued in enough that she figured that was as good as it was going to get (or needed to get, anyway) for today, and fussed with the saddle a bit, flapping the stirrups around, etc., and he just flicked his ears like he wondered what we were up to, but wasn't pissy. She got on. He stood there, with a mild expression. She sat there. He stood there. We walked him a moment or two, and he was fine. SweetPea said he felt like a whole different horse than the one she'd been on previously--his back was relaxed, not tense. We walked him both directions around the roundpen with me holding the leadline RIGHT next to his head, but he was doing fine, so she had me slowly let it out while she took over control, and eventually we unclipped the leadline.
We didn't go for any trotting or other antics, and I didn't get on, but he looked plenty happy to be there, and probably relieved that he didn't hurt anymore.
Yay for chiropractors, eh? Here is some photographic evidence:
|Doop de doo...|
|Clearly traumatized--check out his eyelids.|