Monday I took him back to basics. Asking him to move off my leg at a walk and stretch down. Then asking for the same at the trot. He was doing pretty good and we had some moments. Some only a few seconds, some that lasted for a whole 10 meter circle at the walk or 20 at the trot. Then I cantered him. It's the first time I ever cantered him and it was awesome. His canter is absolutely his best gate. It's uphill and even and smooth.
I rode Twister right after Curtis that day and Twister is a dump truck compared to Curtis.
Though it was nice to get on Twister and ask him to be bendy and round and he did all the dressagey things and even picked up his leads and had a canter that didn't drag me around on the forehand (even if it wasn't silky smooth) and I remember I taught him all the dressagey things. So I do somewhat know what I'm doing and I probably won't totally screw up Curtis in the process because Twister turned out ok. Like the way he was going Monday I would have been comfortable riding and Intro or Training Level test with a few more schools.
But back to Curtis...... He has yesterday off because I was exhausted from a sick toddler who kept me up all night. And today he literally forgot everything. All of it. After a few minutes I got him to move off my right leg and as he moved he'd stretch into the reins a bit. But my left leg? Forget it. Then I'd kick him or give him a reminder behind my leg with the dressage whip and he'd remember I even had a left leg and move off it and we'd be back to forgetting. He ignored all legs when trotting and ran around like a blind giraffe because he wanted to canter. Which, as much as I wanted to, I didn't let him do today because he didn't earn it.
So apparently Curtis can't have a day off. What worked best today was I dropped my irons and really got him low in his ribs with my boot heel. I hate to use aids like spurs so early in the game but he is exhausting me.
He was very good about me trimming his fronts today though. This horse has only not been tranqed maybe twice his whole life to get his feet done. Granted, they were shoes. But he's great to pick them and paint them but doesn't like trimming/shoeing. I did his fronts a bit and maybe tomorrow I'll work on his hinds.
Because I still haven't gotten a farrier out here. I trimmed all 4 for Twister yesterday and he jumped great today so I think he'll be ok in 10 days for the hunterpace. And Curtis seems less sore as well so maybe the karatex is finally working. So if I can' trim Curtis and Twister myself and my person can help with my dumptruck of an appy, who needs a farrier?!