I saddled up the monster after work, hunter. I was out in the arena, and after an easy gentle warmup, I hopped aboard. It was a little chilly out, and unlike our warm ride Sunday, the temps had dropped about fifteen degrees or so, with a stiff north wind. I was curious how he would react to the jumps and the weather. Shoot, and the hunt saddle's shorter leg with more contact.
But I did what I planned. I stuck to it, skipped getting nervous. He's Ransom! He is NOT going to hurt me, he is NOT going to buck, he is NOT going to do somethign stoopid. I warmed him up on a loose rein, walk, trot, canter. I asked for contact only in transitions, and as soon as he got the gait, I stayed loose. I realized I was in fact neck-reining some for the circles. *tee hee* He can ride a neck rein! How funny!
I hopped down, set up trot poles, got back up, and trotted through them. He was light as a feather. I got up in half seat, took up light contact, and half-halted just before & just after the poles. I was soo happy!
Jen was planning to come over to "babysit" our crossrail jumping, and so after a few trot sets each way through the poles, I dismounted one more time to set up the X. Ransom's ears perked while I did it, too. He walked over to the standards with me, licking & chewing while I set it up. *giggle*
Jen arrived just as I was ready to start hopping. We jumped over the X a handful of times. Jen noticed something I hadn't even been considering - staying centered. I was not paying attention, and Ransom was often choosing a high-side of the X. No wonder they felt so darn big! He LOVES to Jump! She reminded me of shoulders back & up, look UP, and center him in front of the jump. We got him settled at it, then went back to trot poles a few more times.
Back at the trot poles, I worked again on half seat, release, and center. Jen suggested a few different "patterns" of trot poles before the X, and some extra things I can set up to work on with him to establish rhythm & pace.
I rode him for about an hour, cooling down with his neat exercise fleecie sheet over his back half. Us girls fed the boys, cats, dogs, I fixed supper, and we had a little girls' supper night... Nothing exciting, but fun anyways.