The saddle will be here soon, I'm dying to get on and ride again, but I don't have a good enough seat to risk riding in a bareback pad again. I'm not scared or anything, but he has shown he is capable of bolting quite quickly and I simply don't have the strength of seat and balance to sit it. It's going to be a while before I can develop those muscles again, so there is no point in risking my safety. A saddle will help with all those things.
Meanwhile, here is how things are going:
Lunging: getting better at going out and staying out. Sometimes he still tries to cut in, or randomly stop. He also pulls a bit on the lead by turning his head out and of course his body follows. So I specifically started working on that issue, as well as asking him to walk out *without* using my stick to ask. After all, I can't ask for a trot if he is pulling on me still.
Shoulder yield: he seems fairly responsive to this now. I still see some imperfection; he can cross one way better than the other way, but it is almost there. I'm looking forward to trying this in the saddle.
Target: I did receive the D ring bit ahead of my saddle and I taught him to target the bit and put it in his mouth. He is very good at this and people at the barn were like O_o
Backup: This is kind of meh. He does not like this exercise much and prefers to only move one little step at a time. There are so many other things that have been interesting that I've kind of neglected it.
I bought him a lovely cooler because it is warm in the barn and his heavy coat means more sweat. It took us an hour to cool him off one night. I can't live here.