Another great ride today! We did an hour and a half of trotting and cantering, which was 15 minutes more than the last ride two days ago. We mostly did trotting and it was a pretty good, strong trot. I am working on posting more to give his back a break. I was forced to do so much of the sitting trot without stirrups as a kid that it has become my default while trotting! So, that is going well! We did some cantering and at one point I had him make a big turn out in the open and really used my inside leg to push his hips around so he couldn't just blow me off. It worked and his circle started to get smaller. Then, it was like he righted himself, found his balance, switched leads, and did a small circle in the other direction on his own. After that, his turns really were much better! They are still ugly at times, but they are happening! We also had a great moment where we cantered along the fence line along the whole top half of the pasture on a loose rein! That was incredible to feel him enjoying himself and start to stretch down with his neck at the canter! We also got to work on some cowboy stuff and twice I had to dismount and remount to move a strand of loose barbed wire, and to put a big rock over a hole in a rusty drain pipe. He was a total gentleman! We worked some on neck reining as he got more worn out and that is coming along well to the right, but to the left it is harder for him to feel the rein because of his mane and braids, I think. Overall, I was really happy!
After we finished up, I walked him back to the barn and put his cooler on him. I let him cool down while I did chores and kept an eye on him because that was a big workout. He worked hard and got sweaty, so I wanted to make sure he was feeling well afterward. He wandered around his paddock with his cooler on and had a bright eye watching me muck poop. He ate some hay, got a drink, and peed. That all made me feel better! An hour after we finished, I gave him his food, which he ate. I added electrolytes and some water, just in case. He did seem a little tired, but he wasn't worn out. I think that must be what he is like after you take the edge off! I think he could have kept going, but I want to take it slowly with him for now. An hour and a half seems like a good time to stay with for a while and once I notice him being more energetic at the end of the workout I will increase the time. But, to be honest I could start to feel my abs getting weak towards the end of the ride. Perhaps I should be working on conditioning myself as well!