I had a bummer of an afternoon at work. In the midst of one ugly combative discussion with a colleague at another location. It's been getting uglier and uglier in the last few months, and about a half hour before quittime, I received a pretty nasty email. Two can play that game, and so I sent it along for handling. The situation is out of my control, for now. I've got a general suspicion it's a "male/female" "experienced/rookie" issue, so I'm curious if there's any way to improve it.
With that general disposition carrying me home, I decided a goof-off day with Ransom was in order. I grabbed a brush, hoof pick, bridle, and a handful of cookies, and headed out to the pasture. Found Ransom all the way in the back, tossed the reins over his neck, and led him to the round pen. Brushed him down real good (noticing that a lot of that ugly winter coat is shedding out and his summer coat is absolutely B-U-TI-FL!!!), and warmed him up free lunge. I worked with him on "Whoa means come to the center" with cookie rewards. He got the idea pretty darn quick.
After about fifteen minutes, I put on his bridle, hopped up on my upside down flower pot, and got on. He stood still as a statue while I figured out where to settle my behind on him. I squeezed him into a walk, with regular rein contact (if he'd been saddled), and off he went. About six feet later, he pulled the reins loose, sighed, and dropped his head near to the ground. He must've known I needed the relaxing ride, walking in a big stride, calm & quiet. We walked around for around ten minutes, wind howling in the pasture.
It was a great ride. Nothing serious, nothing intense, but my first time bareback on my new horse. Pretty darn cool! He rode like it wasn't his first time, and I was happy for it.