Things are slowly getting back to normal around here. My leg is healing up and is almost completely functional from both my torn calf and my puncture. My lungs are another story but things are getting better. Since my sickness moved down into my chest I cough, a lot, but can at least breathe. This was the second night in a row that I was able to sleep through the night and not wake up because I A) couldn't breathe or B) woke up coughing. I believe I am finally on the downhill slope of this thing so maybe by this weekend I will be back to 100%. I haven't been at even 90% for over a month so I am looking forward to it.
I have been riding the TWH lately to try to get him in shape a little more and to help him loose some of the pudge that won't come off. Right now I still can't feel his ribs unless I push REALLY hard. I don't want him to be skinny but I don't need him to be this overweight either. RB3 had been riding him but wasn't working him very hard and she was having hard time getting him to trot/stay in a trot so I have taken over the TWH riding and left the App for anyone else.
The almost 3 months off from trotting the TWH has had has sure affected his gait. He is either being very lazy (most likely the case) or has lost the balance and muscle to trot (some blame is here, yes, but I am not allowing all of it) and is fighting pretty hard in the trot. He has been back to offering the trot only half of the time when I ask, refusing to keep contact without breaking into a gait that isn't a trot, being unable to make even a full 20m circle in a trot and throwing his head around when I try to force the issue. Thus Monday and last night were Trot Camp. We spent most of the entire ride trotting and I really pushed him to get him back to where I want him.
After 2 solid, hard,sweat making rides he getting there. He is now offering the trot when I ask for it about 90% of the time. IMO if I ask for a trot and he gives me a pace/running walk/rack, it is the same as asking for a canter and getting a trot from a non-gaited horse. It isn't the gait I wanted, it isn't acceptable. It is currently especially hard for him to pick up the trot if I am on a bending line of any kind so we still have our homework. He is getting better with trotting with contact but to start I have to really force him into the bridle and keep him there. I am driving him into a "cone" formed by my reins and then have to work to keep the contact. This is also what I am doing when he starts throwing his head around and it is helping, he just has to accept the contact again even though I know he doesn't want to. We were even finally successful in making a couple of 15m circles last night, breaking gait only on the first two attempts. I know we will get back to where we were, it is just frustrating for him to have fallen back so far.