I did just a quick 30 minute ride this afternoon. I had to take him out of the field and he was pleasant enough about it. He stood ground tied very well for grooming and tacking, and though initially he tried to follow me when I needed to walk away and into the tack room to help a newbie, he even stood still while I was out of sight.
It was warm in the indoor, but I knew he'd get all kinds of angry about being led past his pasture mates and then have to work in the outdoor while there was turned-out horses in plain sight. KAT did a quick ride on him yesterday schooling his left lead a lot and he did pretty well. We needed to canter both directions in multiple circles before he would really settle down to lope for me, but he did much better towards the end. Even did a really nice lead change. I think it was technically a simple change but it was super quick and smooth. I finished off loping his good lead one-handed.
The title of this post is such because: I loped without stirrups. Of course this is no big deal to most people, but it was a pretty big deal for us. I feel much more secure with stirrups at this stage of my re-riding. I've been walking and jogging without stirrups but today when he was loping nicely I halted, dropped my stirrups and asked him off into a lope (good lead, of course) and we did a bunch of circles and then halted again. I praised him lots for the good loping and went back to some regular jogging. Up until that ride the prospect of loping with out stirrups was terrifying to me. I was even surprised that when the thought crossed my mind I actually DID it instead of talking myself out of it. Now, cantering in an English saddle with no stirrups? Um, I think we'll wait for a bit on that one!
When we were done I untacked him and put him back out into the field. Zippy, who has been very mean to Junior for a while went up to him, kissed him and then spun around and kicked him in the chest/neck. I couldn't see exactly where she hit but I heard it and Junior stuck is face up and bobbed his head and reared for a second, turned his butt to her to chase her away and then went back to his grazing so it must not've hurt too much. Zippy has only front shoes, thankfully.
We load into the show a week from tonight!