Ransom got his front shoe back during the day. I saddled him up dressage, and told him, "Listen, sweetie. A real quick soundness check in the arena, and I'll hop on. You be good, and I won't ride you 'til we're blue in the face. A nice easy work out. You stay on the bit, and I'll stay out of your way."
He agreed. His free go warmup looked good. I hopped on pretty promptly, and we got moving. Worked on walk to halt, collected to free walk, more halt, a few trots to walk, which were stickie but good. Picked up a canter, and as I expected, he was strong. Lots of good groceries, a little time off. Rough transition down to trot. Yuckie, in fact. Down-right yuckie.
So I tried something different. I would move into trot, and when he was staying decently collected, I'd sit a few strides. When he'd settle into that, I'd ask for canter. About six to eight strides, ask for trot. Lather, rinse, repeat. The first few were beyond horrendous. After about three each way, he settled real nice. I think he quickly realized there was no point in running off into a big canter, no reason to avoid the transition, and it was just going to be easier if he'd stay light.
A few more trot to walks, walks to halt, and I was pretty satisfied. Given the time off we'd had, he moved along nicely. One advantage to all the rain we've had - soft damp dirt. Makes for easy hoof-print recognition. At the walk, most certainly, I could see his hooves were tracking up. At a lot of the trot, much of the same. Pretty cool!