It turns out I have not ruined my horse and he does remember how to move his feet. He even really likes this new thing we're doing where I try to move with him.
Don't get me wrong, there is ample (and I do mean ample) room for improvement, but I was able to get a good spirited walk (thank you, Bar the Chiropractor) and even communicate speed changes to him. Not perfectly, but hey, it's a start. Speed up, slow down, all with my funny little feet. It was cool.
I also got a nice couple of walk-offs from our butt-yields, an awesome bonus.
There was even a potential spook moment averted nicely by one of us sitting calmly in the saddle and the other one deciding it might be too much effort. Ghostly spectre hovering outside the arena in the dark, then a spotlight and a glowing blue tarp.. what could it be?? Oh. It's just Peter, out getting wood. No biggie.
There is still plenty of work to do, of course. Knowing the goal of feeling his front feet worked really well at the walk, and his butt-yields were fantastic, but our trot is still a discombobulated mess. Such a big bouncy thing he is, and yes, I'm in my feet, but holy cow what do I do now? I believe the word is "practice." Another one would be "patience." Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
So I think I really will stop beating myself up, now. Bar says it's counter-productive and besides, we had fun tonight.