Bella and I had a nice ride today. It's been several months, and she's still nervous about carrying a rider - more so in the round pen than out and about, but I wasn't about to go exploring after so much time off.
When I first mounted up she was pretty worried about my leg sitting on her other side. So I hopped down, flapped the saddle around quite a bit on that side, then stood on the mounting block and waved my arms up and over and leaned over and flapped the off side stirrup. Then I turned her around and mounted on that side and she was fine.
We walked and practiced backing, moving her front end over in both directions, then moving her hind end over in both directions. Mostly we just walked. I played with neck reining a bit, and I don't remember having gotten far with that, but she was getting it really well!
We rode in just a halter since her bosal was in the house. I may someday require her to carry a bit, but she finds it so utterly disturbing and distracting that I won't do that until she's way more used to being ridden. I certainly don't need it for gross steering and stopping. I might need it for more finesse later, but this girl is so sensitive I wouldn't be surprised if she found a way to understand exactly what I want even without the precise communication of a bit.
She didn't limp at all. But then I didn't trot her but 50 feet without me on her back.
She pays VERY close attention to me when I'm up there. See those ears?
Yay, she relaxed enough to look around!
(That's old Dyno across the fence.)
She's such a good, pretty girl.
I love this open, curious look on her face. A lot of the time she's guarded and serious. She's an overachiever - I like it when she lets down a bit and has some fun.