First, I was going to lunge Ransom in side reins, only.
Then, I considered riding him hunt seat, on flat, and over poles.
Thirdly, I debated working him in a hard dressage ride, and trying a shoulder-in, or flying change.
Finally, I gave up every single one of those ideas. The weather was fabulous, and those all sounded like "Work"! I grabbed Ransom, cleaned quickly, tacked up dressage, twisted wire loose ring snaffle bit, added helmet, gloves, and a prayer.
And offs we went. Ransom and I explored the road away from home, all the way to where the co-op power lines cross over the street. I'd seen this before, and ridden just a few feet down it with Romeo. However, my curiosity was raging. Ransom had walked peacefully and slowly away from home, more calm than normal. Perhaps he sensed my ease and relaxation, and chose to agree with me.
Down the grassy lane cleared by the power company earlier this year, he didn't even flick an ear at the bunnies and squirrels. It wasn't long down the lane though, before I found a barking dog. oops! That's a neighbor's back yard. My bad.. U Turn Ransom! Down another grassy lane, more dog woof. Oops! Another neighbor's back yard. Okay Ransom, U turn one more time. We landed back on the dirt road, and headed for home.
As we approached home, my interest in stopping was non-existent. C'mOn Ransom, let's head towards the mailboxes, see how far we get today. We made it just a little bit farther than last time, before I could feel his tension. No sense in an argument, I insisted on about five walk steps ahead before turning us back towards home.
Total ride, all at a walk, 20 minutes. Either due to humidity, or a very forward walk, Ransom and I both broke a sweat, him more than me. We're quickly approaching "too much winter coat for a sweat happy pony", and I hear clippers running in the back of my mind.