The F stands for 'flipping' of course... ;o)
Found a new lunge line in Thurso today and picked up a weight tape as well because he's definitely starting to look podgy - though when I put it round him this evening, it came up at 470kg. Think I didn't have it far up enough, I'd put it round his girth area rather than right up behind the forelegs. I'll try again tomorrow and see what the reading is there.
So as you might guess from the title, I rode today. He was being an eejit about lining up with the mounting block again and as we were shuffling around my neighbour appeared round the corner (it's his and his wife's manege) and asked if I'd mind if he had a sit on Merlin. Not at all, I'd welcome the help :o) He went and got his hat and boots and with his much firmer no-nonsense approach to things was on board at the second attempt and working a very surprised Merlin! After 10 minutes of walk, trot and canter and very few steering issues, he jumped off and I hopped on - MUCH easier :o) Now that someone's made it clear to him he can be made to work it was as if he'd just rolled his eyes and decided to stop pushing the boundaries so hard.
We've got a long way to go, I don't feel balanced enough to canter him, but I got some really nice walk-trot transitions today where he just went with a small squeeze of my leg. I need to get him fitter and then start asking him to work longer and lower because he's still a bit like a giraffe at the moment. Definite progress today though.