So here we go.
Even if I wanted to do solid groundwork and make Courage be "good" at lunging at this point, his body simply couldn't do it. He was fit and trim and ready to race. That isn't the same sort of fitness that riding horses use.
Courage looks a lot better. He's able to reach forward and move more. He's somewhat educated about circles. He's learned to carry his neck down, but he isn't using himself just yet.
I don't lunge much or take pictures of it, so here's our next shot:
Obviously, he's taken forward to a whole new level. He's using his topline (neck and butt OMG), he's engaging his hocks, he's stretching.
I could look at this picture all day.
But the timeline. Look at that. Courage is a solid year and a half off the track. He's had lots of time off and lots more slow, consistent work. Most of the last 7 weeks have been walking and slow trotting and hundreds of transitions in between. He's well past racing fit and he's starting to be sporthorse fit. It's not just about re-muscling the body--it's also changing the brain, one day at a time.