Whilst I am still very achey I landed on the idea of lunging instead of hacking or schooling. My moving around on the ground with Quadi was better than being on his back.
He went really nicely, as I suspected he preferred to bend to the outside of the circle rather than work harder to bend in. But I was lunging off the headcollar and he did try whenever I asked. But he slipped back to an outside bend time and again. Maybe some work with the bungee again this week, for a short time?
I have to say though, he knows his job and he stays on a good circle until I move him along the long side with my body, or move the circle to another area of the school. I let him warm up on both reins, left first, and then we had walk, trot and canter on both, and asked for some extension to his trot strides down a long side. We finished with some close-in work at walk, I kept him bent inside and used the handle of the whip on his side where my leg would go when required. I simply kept the whip handle pointed at him until I required it, then I moved it forward and touched him with as little pressure as I could get away with, until I could see him lifting through his loin and bending around it. I guess about 30 seconds of this on each rein. Not a lot.
He was also responding very promptly to my body and voice, and I could see him concentrating hard on me. His back also looked flat and 'up' throughout. Still can't see those abs engaging but he was a lot better than yesterday that's for sure! He didn't look so bloated today, it seems worse when the grass doesn't grow but Kate suggested perhaps any sudden fluctuation could be the cause?
As an additional reward to his after-work sweetie, I let him have a good old roll in the school. It's great to see him well enough to roll right over his back now:
Tomorrow I'll do a bit of schooling and precede that with some in-hand. Unless the notion of a hack takes me of course...