One of the fundamentals of dressage is that a horse needs to stretch over his topline to the bit, not to be confused with bearing down on the bit. Today, at times, he started to forego the bracing and stretch over his topline. He also had his ears up most of the ride. My theory is that the gel pad and saddle change as well as helping him let go in his neck has made him more comfortable and therefore happier. We did a lot of walk work again and some spiral in and out on a circle and some canter transitions. On the right track.