Today was our second proper foray into bareback and bridle-less. The first time was quite spontaneous, and went pretty well. We walked in a circle, then I tried trotting him up the long side and laughed at how very quickly steering fell apart. Then I fetched the reins and had a slightly more proper ride (in the halter and bareback pad).
This time was only slightly less spontaneous, but we’ve spent weeks working on our leg aids and not tuning out when I let go of the reins at walk or trot. We walked, did figures, walked poles, walked into the grass and out of it again, stopped, did turns, even backed! And then I quit because he was starting to feel proud of himself, and that’s a good place to quit. Quit while that “hey, this is the easiest work ever for oodles of pats and scratches!” glow is high!
Then we took a walk in hand and I watched him eat grass for a half hour as a reward. This was a good day for everyone!