Ransom met the side reins & surcingle for the first time. I decided to put him in 4-polos, which he quickly wriggled one leg out of in the rear. So I took the rear polos off and sent him back on his way in the round pen.
I also grabbed an old western headstall with a loose ring simple snaffle for the work instead of his slow twist full cheek. The full cheek seemed like a bit much just for lunging... where with the little snaffle, it wouldn't damage his mouth. He slobbered quite a bit, and all the transitions were good, so I think that'll be the lunge-bit for a while.
Set leather side reins on 4s both sides. He did great, after a few bobbles & arguments. He didn't want to trot right in them, and tried to kick out and reverse quite a number of times. I finally got him convinced, and sent to the round pen rail.
Total work was about 40 minutes. He fought the rein contact for the first 25, and once he started to relax his neck & poll, I wanted to go a bit longer, the whole point of this exercise being to strengthen his topline. When he did bend up all pretty & framed, he would hold it for only 3-4 strides, the pop his nose back out. I'm 98% certain it's a muscle developing issue that will come only with more exercise.
He was a happy slobbery boy when I finished... He, um... let it all "hang out" while I was untacking & grooming.... It was funny, because now that I know that's ultimate sign he's relaxing & satisfied with himself, I'm going to watch for it. =)
I heard on the radio this morning it's f-f-f-f-freeeeezing cold up Nawth.. Ya'll keep your fuzzies on. Makes our RealFeel temps in the high teens sound almost tolerable.