I lunged Ransom for about fifteen minutes. Free lunge on the line, let him lookie see all around the facility from the covered arena. He did a great job! He looked, but he also kept doing his job without bugging out at any of the sights & sounds.
Then I hopped on. I had quite the audience. One of the crew members, and a few other cast participants (& their buddies) were watching from the barn. That’s a neat feeling. I asked Ransom to walk out, and he was in his ground-covering, butt-strutting walk. *giggle*
Then we moved onto trot. He was a little stiff, stickie. Only one good way I know to get him loose, and that’s the canter. Tuck my butt, take a deep breath, squeeze. Up he goes! Ransom moved out in a really nice canter, heading right, and my butt was glued to the tack. The brightest feeling I think ever, asking him to canter, knowing I had at least four pairs of eyes watching me (R, crew staff, other participants). I felt on top of the world.
Heading left, trot, stickie, let’s canter. He moved out into it, again, with minimal effort. It was another sit-able canter, with my toosh in the tack. A neat neat feeling! I was giggly and giddy, but trying to do it quietly so I didn’t disrupt the taping set off to the side. *giggle*
We rode for about a half hour, over half of the covered arena, walk, trot, canter, changes in gait & direction. As for “what did I do new this ride”, I had seen on another RFD-TV show, a dressage instructor said something like…
When you can ask the horse to canter, and leave go of the reins, you want a balanced horse. The only way to prove a balanced horse is to let go of the rein pressure, let go of the contact, and the horse should not speed up, nor slow down, or lose carriage. He should do the work himself. Over time, he’ll have more and more strides carrying himself.
In our last canter set, I was letting the reins go loose, both reins, for about six to seven strides a go, and he did it! Ransom carried himself, without speeding up or slowing down, and without changing his forward impulsion or losing his headset. It was phenomenal! I giggled loudly, and R promptly reminded me “SHH! they’re still filming”! Oh well! I really didn’t care. I was so proud of myself, and my Ransom.
I then put his fleece exercise sheet on, and cooled him down at a long & low trot for another five or so minutes. He complied, and stretched long & down, trotting along gently. *giggle* I still had an audience. The crew called for their lunch break, and we were walking it out as they all crawled up the hillside to the barn.
A new place, and here I was, cantering out, on a loose rein, in my dressage seat, stuck in the tack like glue. Nifty neat-o!