I had three - no, make that four - great rides today on my horses. Dawn started out my day. We worked on something that's been an issue for us for a while - when I take up contact as we're walking, she tends to brace upwards and it takes a while to get past that. I worked at taking up contact with softness, and redirecting a brace, if there was one, by using one rein to tip her nose. None of that awful sawing on the mouth that you see some many people doing who think that this means they're getting their horse "on the bit". We made a lot of progress - I was sure to give her bigger releases and a relaxing walk around each time she got what I wanted. These little things are so important, I think - how you take up contact and how the horse responds, that first time, color the rest of the ride.
Red and I had a nice ride - there were lots of horses in the ring, and he coped very well. We even did some very nice canter work. When I turned him out at noon, and went to check on him, he was grazing peacefully right next to Pie.
Pie and I had an excellent work session this morning - lots of work on "just working" - Pie is very fit and we need to really work, with my expecting him to to rise to my requests. He did very, very well, and seems to be adjusting very well to the new bit. When I went back to the barn - I live only about a five minute drive away - to pick feet and top up hay and water, one of the other boarders asked if Pie and I were ready for a trail ride - I took a deep breath and said yes. So Pie got two work sessions today - he's very fit and it wasn't a problem and he'll get a day off tomorrow.
I saddled him up (my Western saddle and I also wore my body protector - call me a wimp but it gives me more confidence on the trail, which is good for Pie and for me) and off we went. First we scouted one of the far pastures for the grazing muzzle her horse had lost, and we actually found it. Other than trying to grab grass - which was very tall - Pie was great - I think he enjoyed having a job. Then we went on the trail outside the pastures, which goes a far ways. Pie was a star - we won't be turning down many trail riding invitations (except from those who go in for out of control galloping)!