I wanted to give you a quick update on Commander. I have been back from our trip to China for about three weeks and trying to ride fairly regularly as work allows. Commander has recovered from being gelded & from a laceration on his left buttock (a failed attempt to meet the mare next door two days prior to being gelded). All of that was pretty stressful for him, & he lost some weight just not eating well. Once he started feeling better, he began to eat normally and now enjoys his meals though he is a very slow eater. He seems to especially like beet pulp.
He now lunges nicely at all three gaits.
Interestingly enough, he has had a hard time cantering to the left, but seems to find it easier each time on the lunge line. I have been lunging him briefly prior to riding. He walks and trots quietly over poles. We have been able to canter to the right with me on successfully for a while, and just recently have been able to canter to the left. He feels totally sound, but this seems backward for an ex-race horse (even a young one), so I hope to have him looked at by a chiropractor. It may just improve with time & fitness & better balance.
He is now much more people-oriented since being gelded. He is pleasant to work around on the ground even loose in his stall. He also gets along with my other horse over the paddock fence or turned out in the pasture. We are still working on getting in & out of the trailer. No ramp is very confusing if your legs are that long apparently.
We are having fun & making progress.