Got another fun ride in with Sherm today. The arena is finally clear of snow and ice, and so the footing is good enough, and he's had enough work lately, to start asking for some actual work. It took many, many laps to find our groove, but we did finally find it, and I found his steering.
He is clearly so much more comfortable in the new saddle. He nearly dozed off while I was tacking him up, demonstrating that he's not anxious and fearful of the saddle. That's a big change, I am ashamed to admit. And again when I untracked, he was perfectly happy to be brushed on both sides. I realize now how unhappy he was on the right side, where his big shoulder was sore from being pinched.
It's amazing to have him happy, and we haven't even had the saddle fitted to him yet.
Speaking of, we have a date for the big event-- February 4th! It means a road trip to a barn about 2 hours away, with a stop halfway pick up a friend and her horse, so it'll be a full-on adventure.