We hooked up the trailer, loaded Rufus and headed over to the farm where I caught Sunny & we saddled up to ride. Both boys were quite relaxed about the whole thing, although Sunny dawdled & "wiggled" down the road initially. Nothing like the cool morning two weeks ago when he felt it necessary to step out with a slight hunch to his back.Sunny was still in the bitless bridle but with a new 36" cinch (his old one is a 32-incher, and I think he was pleased to go up a couple of sizes!) in place. I know it made ME happier to have a bit of extra latigo when the cinch was snug.
The gravel was cement-like since we hadn't had any recent rain, so we mainly stuck to walking with some trotting where the footing was better. T wanted to work on Rufus's barn sour/buddy issues, so he spent some time riding way out ahead and way back behind. Sunny, for the most part, could care less where Rufus is. Rufus is not yet enraptured with Sunny's presence either, as we discovered on the way home when Rufus, in the lead by a 1/4 mile, was reluctant to turn around and come back to Sunny and me.
In addition to Rufus's issues, T & I both worked on leg yields, changing pace at the trot using seat & energy rather than reins, and finding and maintaining a nice jog/sitting trot pace. Who says a pleasure ride can't be productive! LOL!
Rufus and T had a couple of "discussions" but T is getting better at anticipating when Rufus is about to balk and keeping his feet moving. Rufus is also learning that balking gets him more work, not less. Sunny didn't break a sweat, but Rufus (and T) got a bit more of a workout - grin.
We rode for about 2 hours, enjoying every minute of it.
Bonus of the day? I drove the return route, and managed to back the trailer back in on the first try. (I know, not a huge deal for those of you who jockey long trailers all the time, but I don't, and this sucker's 22' if it's an inch!)
All in all, a good conclusion to the weekend.