The mosquitoes are beginning their retreat. I was able to stand outside for a while Monday without getting nailed. So last night, I went outside (sprayed with bug repellant, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and my coolvest). Grabbed my helmet and Harley's bridle.
Headed to the pasture. Sprayed him down with skeeter spray, put on his bridle, and hopped on from a step stool. No saddle, no pad, nothin'. He waited while I wiggled into balance, and started to walk off. We wandered the pasture for about 15 minutes. No trot, and certainly no cantering. Just walking, quietly, almost all on a loose rein. I let the reins out all the way, and found him reaching for the bit, head dropping lower and lower. he was looking for me, cute! I shortened my reins a tiny little bit, he found the contact, and lifted his face just above it. Nice...
After I slid off, he stood quietly by the gate waiting for a treat. Handful of cookies later, I walked over to Romeo, and did much of the same. A few differences, though. Romeo bounded off at a trot, happily, just as soon as I wiggled my hiney into balance. Booger.... Later, we were in his little pasture, CRNG off in the distance mowing on his riding mower. CRNG's mower motor cut off, followed by a sharp backfire. BANG! Mo? Flicked an ear. and I was suddenly very grateful for the blank 0.22 revolver shots I'd been practicing with last year. Mo was completely unbothered by the backfire, which made the ride much calmer than it might've been.
Two short rides, no saddles, no worries. Nothing particularly exciting happened, which is great. Wonderful for the time they've had off without work, and a nice way to start back at an exercise plan without screaming as the mosquitoes.