Just a quick post tonight...I managed to get my baseline, which was what I consider pitiful... 2:05. There's obviously room for lots of improvement!
Alex was very good tonight and I mostly stopped worrying about the saddle, with the help of everyone's kind comments, but then he took a couple tight steps at the trot to start off. I was puzzled, then he quickly worked out of it.
I'm still keeping an eye on him, checking his back and trying not over do it on a daily basis. That's all I can do. If he seriously goes into pain mode, I'll manage it with lunging and BoT. It's only a few weeks.
See, I feel better already :-)