I had a pretty crummy day at the office. Too many irons in the fire, and I feel like I've got "clients" all sitting right behind me at my desk, tapping my shoulder, asking, "Are you done yet? Are you done yet? Are you ready yet? Can we go now?" Worse than driving a van full of teenagers to an amusement park...
So after work, I grabbed Romeo. We had a long chat while I groomed some of his shedding coat, and I told him all about my bad day. He licked & chewed, and dropped his head, looking back at me almost sympathetic. We wandered out to the arena saddled up, and he was amazing good. He's had a long break off due to the weather & riding Ransom, so I braced for a fast canter & bad brakes. He gave me a really pretty canter (got his leads both directions on the first try), actually tried breaking to trot a few times (which isn't great, but sure beats holding him back the whole ride).
Neighbor's dog (wiener-dog yapping little nutjob) was giving us the "woofing what fors" during most of the ride. Fortunately, he did it from his own yard this time. Last time the little yapper was in my yard, I chased him out, tossing the lead rope end in his general direction. Romeo looked pretty hard in his direction a few times, and, when he didn't spring sideways, and didn't hollow out & freak, I rubbed his neck & praised lavishly. Half-way through praising him once, I realized I was secure in my saddle enough to reach forward almost to his ears scratching. How cool! All that going on at the canter, flying around the arena.
I finished up the ride with some trot-training. I left long loose reins, and deliberately tried to slow him a bit, then later pushed him on forwards with really light bit contact.
Total work about 45 minutes. The walk-out with my stirrups flapping, hands on my lap, reins swinging in the gait. Pretty cool ride! Good Boy Romeo!