Things we learned – lunge line is good, side reins on 8s is good.. Ransom was a little stiff to start, but settled into the side reins & collection. 5 minutes each way.
Then I hopped on. We did probably 20minutes of walk/halt. Some were good, some were absolutely terrific, and some not so good. Lots of “almost walk” before he’d lean on the forehand, or pop his head up, so I’d squeeze him back forward, only allowing halt when it looked and felt good.
Up to trot. The trot/walk work was nice. Jen and I talked a lot about “is this trot good?” as I rode through. I got Ransom in a very steady trot forward with nice tight collection. Rode some of it sitting, but most posting trot, easing some of Ransom’s workload.
Finally, a little canter. About two circles each way. Unfortunately, we did canter-right first, Ransom’s stronger side. His canter-left was in no way terrible, but it sure wasn’t spectacular either. Jen suggested more work canter-left, and try more often to start with canter-left, maybe even sometimes leaving canter-right out.
Plenty of long & low walk breaks. Plenty. We let Ransom really dictate the ride. When he started feeling tired, walk break. In each gait, we’d let him tell us if he wanted more or not. End result? About a 45minute ride total. Longer than they had been, but he was truly spectacular for the entire lesson. No ugly, no fussy, no incredible amount of angry disregard. Just general agreeability.