Before I get to the pictures, one thing... I'm generally pretty OCD about fastening throatlatches on halters. I've heard stories of horses who've lost an eye from a loose throatlatch snap hitting their eye. But since I wanted to take pictures of Riv with no blanket and no halter, and because Riv can be a butthead when I let him go in the indoor, I left the throatlatch unsnapped so I'd be able to get his halter off faster. Well, he tried to be a butthead, but when he did the throatlatch smacked him in the face, and he was like "oh, crap, I guess I should be good." So leaving the throatlatch loose was actually a good thing in this case!
So anyway, pictures!
Whistlejacket. (Which, by the way, I saw in real life when I was in England! I'm pretty sure it's the only painting I actually looked at when I was at the National Gallery, lol.)
Awwww, a headshot where he doesn't look weird! His neck looks incredible and his eyes are all big and soft and doe-y.
Did I mention I'm in love with his neck and topline? Call me a weirdo, but I think the best indicator of a horse's training is not how they do in shows or how nice of a "frame" they go in, it's muscling. Muscles tell the truth. You can use gadgets to force a horse into a frame, but you can't force them to use the right muscles. That has to be done correctly, with the horse pushing from behind, reaching into the contact, and carrying himself. A good, muscular neck and topline say that the horse is being trained correctly. I don't say this to make myself look good, like I'm so amazing and look, my horse proves it! I say it because I'm happy to see evidence confirming that I'm doing it right. We're behind in a lot of ways... he's 14, I've had him for over 2 years, and we're still basically walk-trot; how pathetic is that? But goshdarnit, what we have done, we've done right! Or at least moderately right...