We had a surprise visitor during Dakota's lungeing session today.
Fred was getting into trouble all over the place. Earlier, he found a hole in the pasture fence and visited the neighbors. Then he screamed his little head off when captured and placed in a holding pen until the barn owner could find the hole and plug it. Then he visited Dakota and me in the arena. I think Fred needs a job. I do wish my phone hadn't crapped out when it did--not long after the above video, Fred settled in behind Dakota to participate in the lungeing. I could just eat Fred with a spoon.
With the cob-sized headstall and the full-size cavesson and browband, I now have a bridle that fits in every way except in the throatlatch. I'm just tucking it out of the way for now. Here is Dakota all zoomy from Fred screaming in the holding pen a few minutes earlier. I'm really happy with Dakota's trot. He's got a fairly free shoulder and he maintains good flexion in his hocks behind. There's a lot to work with there.
After lungeing, I brought Dakota over to the mounting block and spent a few minutes lying across his back (no reaction) and then stood several times with my weight in the left stirrup, bumping his hind lightly with my right knee (a tiny bit of surprise, then no reaction). I then swung on over into the saddle. He raised his head a bit and didn't want to move off for about thirty seconds. Then he walked off and the rest of the ride was uneventful. He understood my steering attempts pretty well and gave in his poll when I wiggled my fingers. He's very soft in his mouth. He was quite tired from zooming around on the lunge earlier, so we just walked around for seven or eight minutes and called it good. Yay! Dakota is officially under saddle again after two years off!