Running out of patience, I decided to saddle Chewie up in his best-fitting dressage saddle (with the gullet adjusted just for his cute little self). I put him back in the round pen, with the same sound free lunge, w/t/c. He was obeying voice & hand signals, and remembered the difference between "reverse right where you are and keep going" vs "come into the center, get a love-pat, and get back to work in the other direction."
Somebody's "Dora the Explorer" Happy-Birthday balloon floated into the pasture. Chewie saw it, and was absolutely horrified. So, I walked out to the pasture, picked it up by the string, and brought it into the round pen. I led him towards it, letting him think he was chasing the balloon. It took about ten minutes, but he did finally let me touch him with it, and I rubbed it all over him. It made that neat plastic-swishy noise. ooh.. spooky balloon.
After deciding I was more curious than I could stand, I crawled on him. We only worked for, oh, about 8 minutes. I did a few laps of walk, and two sets of two laps of trot, each direction. WOW! I thought he was floaty before. That new stride I described with his new feet before, that was "up", rather than "dragging"?! It's so different, I can feel it riding. It felt like he was ready to spring into a canter at any moment, but still steady at the trot. I did a little on-bit contact, and a little off-bit, on a loose rein. He accepted the contact cheerfully, not once throwing his head, but instead stretching down, still bent at the poll. One time on loose rein I peeked down, and saw the reins swinging from side to side. Absolutely amazing. What a neat feeling, on a big horse, that finally has a big trot to match.
I crawled off, he licked & chewed, shook all over, and I swear the look on his face was, "Thanks Mom.. that was fun!"
He's coming back.. slowly.. but he's coming back.