It seems the worst is over for this particular injury. It has healed well, there is absolutely no swelling left and he is not sensitive in the area. It's hard to tell how much will remain hairless permanently, but there does seem to be more hair growing than I expected, so that's good. Since Dr. J said I didn't need any more aluspray on I cleaned most of it off so he's a bit easier to look at. :)
We've been working on showmanship. I checked in with KAT and I was having him move his front feet incorrectly for the pull-turn so we fixed that. In our riding we have been focusing on one thing: WHOA. Specifically a WHOA when asked and also keeping body kept round and in balance instead of sticking his head straight up. You know, stopping from the hind end. I'd LOVE for him to do that all off of a cue from my seat, but we're no where near that. For Horsemanship (and somewhat Equitation) you want to be able to stop with minimal rein action. If you watch good modern reining, their sliding stops don't have much rein contact at all. In the Horsemanship world, a "spur-stop" has been developed to get a quick, solid stop without using the reins. I am not interested in the "spur-stop." If I can't get it done with my seat, I'd rather use my reins. That's just me. It just seems that I can throw my weight around and he doesn't notice. Might be because he's learned to ignore the unbalanced riders on his back. Might be because he's never been taught. When he's tired and wants to quit (we rarely get to that point lately, though) he'll respond to my seat when I "quit" riding, but at a simple walk or trot or when he's willingly going forward he could care less what I'm doing in the saddle.
So first I worked on getting a whoa from a verbal along with the reins and seat. Now we're on to a whoa with a verbal and seat... if he's paying attention.... he pushes my buttons on purpose, I swear. Hopefully with a bit more work he'll learn to pay attention to my seat, too.
I'm doing all this because I still want to show and we really need increased refinement in order to be competitive. Ugh... SO much to work on. :)
Last Wednesday PBS premiered a documentary series called simply "Circus" about the Big Apple Circus. I don't want to ruin it for you, but in the first episode, during a rehearsal for the Equestrian act, a lovely bay paint took a tumble and cut his face open similarly to Junior's. I THINK THIS IS HIM. The episode showed him back in rehearsal and you could see a black shiny scar. Just so you know, when you google image search for "Big Apple Circus equestrian pbs" you get ALL sorts of random weirdness!