I think I've figured out how to show Ransom if I mean "goof off" or if I mean business - side reins. The last few times I've hopped on cold, or just free longed, or gotten on bareback, he's a goof. He won't stay steady, he won't stay collected, he just won't mind real well. But tack on those side reins & longe for a few minutes (even 3 each way, as I did Tuesday night), and I have my game-horse.
After his brief longe, I hopped on, and walked maybe 4 steps on light contact before gathering up the reins. He IMMEDIATELY came up into contact, collected himself, and started a very steady marching walk. Nifty!
We rode for nearly 35 minutes, oops! I lose track of time whenever he's that forward. He was in fact VERY forward at trot, and so I played with it, transitioning in and out of canter a LOT. Are his canter trans bad? Nah.. But I figured it would build muscle memory. What I did discover, wasn't about him, but about me.
I will probably play with it more this weekend, but I was able to study very hard how much my outside leg was moving for the transition. I'll admit it, Ransom has spoiled me. I can ask in a circle with just my seat, and he gets his lead right. But I need to experiment a little with asking on a straight line, concentrating on my outside leg. I tried asking with just leg and a little seat, and found his canter less pushy and more light and UP. This is worth experimenting with just a little.
Delightful as always. The cooler, crisp weather makes him a little slow to warmup, but very forward, and energetic. Whee!!!