Both boys were ridden. Romeo was tacked up English, in the new saddle pad I'd bought. It's fleecie-soft, and a bit thicker than anything else I have. I didn't want to argue "whoa" with him, so I put the Tom Thumb on. Yes, very uncoordinated, and very unprofessional. I don't care - I wanted to canter in the English saddle, and didn't want to have a discussion with him about brakes in the tack. Last time I rode in the English saddle, he refused "whoa" - and I wasn't going to have that again.
The pad made the difference. I got in w/t and canter both ways, in the English saddle. He didn't flinch, didn't take off, didn't speed away without me, and listened to "whoa" just as good as always. A fabulous ride overall. He was a sweaty mess when we got done, since his winter coat and the warm Texas winter day didn't agree. About 45 minutes total, the sand still a bit deep in the arena.
Saddled Ransom western, and headed to the arena. I worked with him a few minutes on the lunge line, and he was pretty obedient, understanding "whoa" and "come into me" a bit more. I hopped on, with my full cheek slow twist bit that had arrived via mail order.
I worked entirely at the walk. Ransom had a huge, flowing, ground-covering walk. I worked on contact, on transitions, on a loose rein, all over the arena. I was also testing out various cues on him, and I learned that a left-right-left pulse on the reins, with thigh squeezes, bring him through down transitions. He'll walk super fast, but unless I squeeze with calves, he won't break to trot. He never tried to run to the out-gate, never broke to a trot, no matter how fast I left him go. Nice big walking work.... About 40 minutes total. I was much happier with him today than during the lesson, when I was entirely frustrated I wouldn't be riding.