I was very pleased with Moo this morning, rode in the hackamore again but first we played in-hand.
Just because I had to know, LOL, I tried flexions minus the bit. Quite unsurprisingly the bit chewing isn't going to happen but I did try the sideways flexions and he happily enjoyed the stretch and did the down and out afterwards. I figure this is actually going to be a useful tool to get over the point of how the inside rein works, i.e. as I close my fingers he takes his head to the inside and if asked will then take that stretch down and out; we'll have to see.
He gives an even better rein back in-hand without the bit and his giravolta/leg yield was good too. Tried shoulder-in and the counter exercise, both went well but the travers was the best I've ever had in-hand, in fact the best I've ever had from him full stop!! So I hopped on (almost literally as my back is a little restricting right now, bummer) and rode the travers, pretty good but not quite as good as the in-hand.
On the whole a good session, I think my reactions are improving and my hands are behaving a little better. Moo is so much steadier even in the trot and I can't wait for the next session each time. We had a little play with some square work on the grass afterwards because we can't hack at the moment.
His footiness is a little better and his feet look so much better, not great having to cancel my farrier; in spite of the fact that farriers don't understand all the issues of barefoot, he is a really professional guy who was never late or missed a rendez-vous. Oh well I had to do the best for my horses.