Gathered up my Ransom after his supper & mine, as the day reached closer to a cooler sundown. The wind blew steadily for our work, which was really nice in the blustery heat summer has brought us.
He warmed up nice, and was slowing and stopping on body language, with no tug on the lunge line. I praised lavishly. He has also obviously learned what 5 minutes one direction feels like, slowing down as I was checking my watch. *grin* Habit critter!
I hopped aboard, gave him just a little time long & low, and gathered the reins slowly. We did only a few walk/halts, before I popped into trot.
Trying to keep it interesting, hoping maybe he was getting bored and thus a fuss head to work with, I asked for a few strides of canter, maybe 6 or 7 strides. He gave me this tiny little light canter, so I put him back down to trot, and when that felt good, back to walk. When walk was light, halt.
It worked, almost magically. I didn’t push for anything for a long period of time, just a little this, a little that. A few of his trot/walks were beyond fantastic. I would sit the trot, settle myself, squeeze my hands, and *think* “waaaallk”, and he’d settle into it.
Rode for only a half hour, with a boat load of long & low walk breaks. I stayed very tuned to his general movement, and if he felt sluggish, I’d take a break. If he was huffing & puffing, I’d take a break. At the end of the ride, he cheerfully walked back to the barn with me, slightly behind, but steady-on.
I didn’t notice any time when he felt over bent. A few “strung out” moments, but I don’t expect those to go away any time soon.