Thursday was possibly the best weather we have had all year! The sun was shining and the highs were in the 60's! John came home from work an hour early and we headed out to the barn for a ride/run! I used a front set of Renegades and they performed perfectly. He did pick up his legs a little more for the trot, so it is a good thing to get him used to the feel and weight now.
We ended up going about 5 miles and trotted most of the way. John said that we were going about 7.5-8 minute mile pace. We slowed down for the downhills and otherwise kept a steady pace. Basically the whole road is hills. Not sure why everyone thinks Kansas is so flat... Boomer did try to drift to the right a time or two (old bad habit), but was very respectful of my corrections and we never had any problems. He gave to the bit easily for the most part, but there were a few instances where he fixated on something in the distance and had a hard time remembering to give to the bit. In his defense, I think that he was just showing that he is not nearly as confirmed in his connection at the trot. I think that at the walk, I could have gotten him in my hand a lot easier. That being said, he really did a great job and didn't balk at anything, including barking dogs!
He did work up a good sweat and was puffing when we were done. It took about 2-4 minutes of walking for him to stop breathing hard. I hosed him off and hand grazed him with his cooler on until he was almost dry, fed him dinner, and turned him back out! He was actually rather affectionate today and it seemed like he really enjoyed our ride. I'm going to give him a few days off to relax and be a horse and then get back to things on Monday. He really seems to do best when he has 1-2 days off. Riding too many days in a row starts to make him sour and he will walk away when I go up to catch him. So, since we had so much fun today, he gets a few days to relax!
He did great with the Renegades and didn't have any heat or rubs. They stayed on and didn't seem to twist or cause any problems. I'm not sure I noticed much difference going over the gravel, but it is good to get used to them before we use them at a ride! I had John run behind us a few times to make sure he was trotting even and sound. I also had John watch and see if he was landing heel first. He said it was hard to tell and that it looked like he was landing flat or slightly heel first. I have always thought he landed flat as well. I am going to do some research on trimming for a better heel first landing.