My back has improved considerably (sitting isn't agony anymore), but it's still not good enough to ride so I just did ground work with Chrome today. It wasn't a workout like I was doing before, but it was a good refresher on manners. I focused on making sure if he stopped too close to me that he had to back up as well as making him back out of my way when I turn right or there's an obstacle in the way instead of me walking around him.
I worked on walking, stopping, trotting (not much because of my back-just started walking normally again today), backing, yielding haunches and shoulder as well as flexing his neck. I was surprised that he had more trouble flexing to the right than to the left since generally he's harder to turn left when under saddle. Strange horse. I need to get back to his stretches because he's definitely stronger on one side than the other. Other than that he did GREAT! He was very compliant and relaxed. Although he was a touch lazy he was almost willing to really move his feet when I asked him. :)
His backing still required a heavier cue than I like... the thing is I remember when he was younger he would back off of a finger light touch, so I think his reluctance to back is because of his stifles. When they are locking (not locking at all today yay!) it happens when he backs so he expects it to happen. Once he takes the first step or two and doesn't lock then he backs smoothly and easily for however many steps I ask (until he gets crooked, but that's a baby horse strength thing). So I'm going to start working on backing a lot more since it strengthens his haunches so that he can learn that it's not always hard. When he locks I'll do something else so he won't feel frustrated by it.
Another thing I noticed is when asking him to yield his shoulder he yields better moving right than left. It's always been that way. Going left I had one finger on his shoulder and had to put one finger on his neck to make him step sideways instead of trying to go forward. Going right all it takes is one finger lightly on his shoulder. Is that stifle related too?
I'm thinking about doing ground work on his days off just to keep him tuned up and so that we are doing something. I have a tendency to do nothing but feed and fly spray him on his days off. He needs to do something everyday I think. So that's the plan anyway. Also when I can ride again I'm going to work on all of the stuff we did on the ground... walk, back, yield haunches, yield shoulders, etc. Learning to do those under saddle I think will help him with his steering a lot.
Anyway sorry if this makes no sense.... major headache. Tomorrow is his dental so I'll try to get pictures of that if this new vet doesn't mind. I haven't met her yet but I've heard really great things about her so I'm excited.. but a bit nervous too lol. Wish me luck!