We did it! Today was the first day I rode Red! It was a great day to try because he lunged so well, he was so calm and relaxed, it was 72 degrees, and I worked him yesterday.
I tacked him up and as usual, he just stood there like a good boy. I lunged him and he was an angel. We worked counter-clockwise at first and he walked and trotted perfect, lap after lap. He got lots of praise for being such a good boy.
We went clockwise and he did great that direction too. The trot took a few repetitions but he got it at the end. He will trot 3/4 of a circle and stop in the same place. I easily ask him forward and he goes and when he gets to that same place, he stops. If I crack the whip, he changes directions. So I have to keep asking gently and eventually he moves forward again. After doing that over and over, he started not stopping and I was able to get about 4 non-stop calm circles. He was an awesome boy today.
So I had made up my mind today that if he was a good boy, I was going to ride him today, so I had to keep that promise. Today was also Red's one month anniversary at our house, so that was special to me too.
Ryan came out with me and we still had his halter over his bridle. We walked him up to my mounting block (the hay trof turned upside down) and he just stood there. I got on and just sat there while Ryan held him. When he took a big breath and I saw he didn't care and relaxed, I had Ryan walk us around. Again, he was relaxed and didn't care. We walked over to the other end of the pasture and Ryan took his halter off and we stood there for a little.
I then asked him to go forward and he didn't really want to leave the people (Ryan and the neighbor) and he wanted to go back to the food. So I kept gently asking and he would swish his tail a little but then he would take a few steps forward, and he got lots and lots of praise. We would walk away from the people and then would turn back to them and he'd get love. Then we would walk a little further away and again, come back to the people for love. Eventually we made it all the way to the other side of the pasture (and he did it without stopping at all!) and we came back to the people for lots of love.
We walked back to the food to call it a day. I wanted Ryan to get a picture of us so we stood there while he got the camera. Red stood for a little and then he said he was done and started to prance a little, but nothing bad at all. Ryan got a picture and I hopped off. Ryan may have given him 2 carrots, 6 treats, and 2 cups of senior feed after it was over, but I won't confirm nor deny that :)
I don't know when we'll try again since tomorrow's forecast is calling for a chance of rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon. I will be out of town for work all next week, so Red will have some time off. I hope to get one more good ride in before I go, but I'm not going to push anything. If it happens, it happens!
What a great day! I am so excited!