We've graduated! Drum roll, please.....
We've spent most of our rides alone in the round pen, small enclosed, safe little space, for nearly two months. My time in the arena was always accompanied by a lunge line, or a babysitter of some sorts.
Last night, I rode walk & trot on Ransom, in the arena, in my dressage saddle, with nobody else home! :) YiPEEE!
I saddled him after work dressage, intending on light lunge warmup and a lot of walk, with maybe only a little time at the trot. I wasn't going to work him hard, and I was on a bit of a time crunch to get supper, feed the crew, and make choir by 7:15pm.
He warmed up great! I've moved standards, ground poles, and all to the back half of the arena, scattered all over the place. He took advantage of the space, and warmed up nearly the whole length of the lunge line. Very good deal! Stayed very relaxed, beautiful trot, and when he settled into a steady gait, I hopped on.
We walked probably two times around, switching directions, walking over some poles. I figured, o O ( This isn't going to be pretty, but I need to start trusting him like I trust Romeo. ) O o So, I asked for the trot. He was uneven at first, certainly because I was flapping all over my tack, having a hard time staying balanced & relaxed. It wasn't pretty, but we did it. I stayed in that trot for nearly ten minutes, changing direction a few times, even trotting over a pole once or twice. Ransom's ears were headed every which way, and I could tell he was loving his new riding space. He was obviously tickled to be out of the round pen, and very content to stay on the rail. We even got deep corners, staying at the trot... Very proud of that.
It was a total work of about 45 minutes, and I enjoyed every second. Can't wait to ride him again Friday. Both boys get new feets Friday morning - First time with the new fellow Mr D that I don't have to haul them to Les' house. YahOO!! That cuts the fuel bill, and my time spent hauling both directions.
Choir rehearsal went great. I'm nearly ready for my special Sunday morning with the choir. It started out really rough, singing along in the truck to my CD. After a few weeks of practicing, realizing what I need to do to get it done & be pretty, it's almost there. I don't think I'll ever feel 100% perfectly ready, but it'll be pretty darn good, I hope! =)
(It's so cool to post the Labels here, and not mention "Lunge Line"... *grin*)