o O ( I'll just lunge him. Side reins. Half hour or so, just to keep his mind going. ) O o That's all I intended, as I walked out to the arena, with Ransom saddled up dressage, me in my cowgirl boots and jeans. I left my helmet at the trailer, seriously not intending on riding.
Whatta horse! After fifteen minutes on the side reins, even with trot & canter over some unevenly spaced ground poles, he looked amazing. Nice stride, good attention, and very focused on the job.
So I set up a little vertical fence, and took the side reins off. It was probably 12" high, maybe 18". On the lowest standard hole. I let him look at it, then asked for trot-right. He trotted to the fence, jump (!), and cantered away. He stayed in canter, and cantered over the fence 5 times. Each one, he adjusted himself, lengthening or shortening stride to get over clean. WOW! I reversed him, and did the same drill to the left. Beautiful! That's the first time I've seen him jump in-person and it was amazing. Got to be the prettiest jumping I've seen that close. He seemed a little fast, but that's the jumper coming out of him. Headed left, after the last rail, I moved the lunge circle a little, away from the fence. He did about four strides of canter, broke to trot, trotted exactly one circle, and broke to walk. WOW! He even does his own courtesy circles. How cool!
Les was at the house (for the neighbor that never showed up, and to ride M-sale horse), so I put the side reins back on, and hopped on Ransom. We did a little walk and trot both ways, and I started to feel my boots pinching under my jeans. Good place to stop. Ransom was awesome...
Total work for him about 45 minutes. Very nice day for both of us.
I finished up my day with about ten minutes on M. He's , um , okay. Short strided, nervous, but controllable. I thought he did okay... he wasn't real keen on being at my house, Ransom watching on, another neighbor behind the property clearing brush... but he was alright. Makes me appreciate my guys a LOT more.