We started off pretty caffeinated deer like (thanks for that one SB) and I got annoyed because he lost all of his ride ability. You know, that thing I have been working really hard on at the walk and there is zero reason for it not to carry over. I cued for shoulder in and felt him puff up and plow through my aids. So I shoved (great dressage here) him into it with the assistance of my spur. It was magical, he resisted for a stride and then immediately softened into it.
Magic bonnet still has the magic
He stepped up with his hind, the swing came back in his back and his head immediately dropped. He can't hold it for very long, but we actually had a shoulder in I am not ashamed of. The trot is still very inconsistent, but there was a lot of improvement and he felt quite a bit stronger.
I do need to make sure I have a well established half halt to help with balancing him. He likes to get strung out and zippy. And keep using the lateral work to slow him and step up underneath himself. But overall, we are making progress. It was a very pleasant surprise. Of course trotting him made him quite excited and he lost a bit of his walk, but I think it will be fine with time (and that whole half halt thing).