Ground poles are a definite win for Apollo now. He was really into it yesterday! Nice lift to his trot, ears forward, neck and back round and tail arched.
... yeah, he was a little enthusiastic. :)
When we went to do a little bit of canter, he took the left lead once tracking right, but I brought him down and asked again, careful to have my weight aid correct and bump him with my inside seatbone as I asked for the transition with my outside leg back. He bounced into the right lead canter. It was a short stride, but it was a true canter, and he probably could have kept it up. I chose to not push it to the right.
The left lead canter ... heh. I giggle. He's done this move on the longe a few times, rock back onto his hind end and give the first part of the stride with his front end some ... expression. It's usually accompanied by an arched neck and a tossed mane, sometimes a snort. It's terribly poetic, terribly cinematic. And funny. I bet this will be his move when we leave the start box for XC, too. Anyway, he did that as we launched into the left lead canter. I started out a little startled, but then had to laugh, because he was perfectly fine in the canter, didn't try to leave town or anything.
And the poles were just terribly fun for him. I was working on keeping my leg on, the trot steady and forward, maintaining a soft contact, and keeping straight through the line (unsurprisingly, easier tracking left than right), and he really likes that ride. He swept through the poles like nothing. I mean, of course it's nothing, but ... yknow. This also means that the poles were set at the right stride length for where he is now. Go me.
Anyway, I'm glad the barn is getting back from Galway soon. I need some advice on rehab and work. How far is too far to push, am I pushing far enough, are there other exercises I should be doing (cavaletti? Go right 75% of the time?), ought we get him ultrasounded, et cetera. I am in an experience desert here!