Today was the day that bess started her ridden work again after a year off to have her foal (who sadly passed away this week at just 9 weeks of age). I wasn't sure how I expected things to go as I have been trying to work on a few groundwork issues with her as she is generally quite pushy with her right shoulder. My friend came over today who is an instructor, she did a quick assessment on groundwork to see how she was listening/responding etc and then progressed to saddling. Today was the first day that Bess has been in a western saddle with a back cinch and I think she did really well, she didn't stay perfectly still while it was being put on but to say she hasn't had it on before and hasn't had a saddle on for a year I was quite pleased but expecting her to be a little better tomorrow. She wasn't polite to bridle so that also needs to be worked on but i'm willing and able to put time and effort in with guidance from my friend. My friend hopped onboard and Bess stood perfectly still for this which is great as I have an issue with mounting just general nerves. My friend tried to back her up but bess tried to evade the bit but she soon worked out that stepping back would release the pressure. I'm not sure she has been backed up before as I don't know much about her past before I got her a year ago. Off they went down the road and she did extremely well and was very calm and relaxed (she is a very confident dominant mare anyway). They did a couple of gates together, had a walk, trot and a couple of strides in canter just to see if she would offer the canter more than anything. They returned to the yard and on I got! Wasn't prepared to ride or even considered that I would be riding in the first session as i'm a very nervous rider but on I got and felt so safe that we went for a small trot, obviously not too much as she is unfit and needs bringing back to work slowly. I'm so pleased that it all went incredibly well today and hoping that we can stay on this track. I am really looking forward to getting out and about with her she is so steady and careful she really looks after me. Sorry for the essay just a great day that I had to share. Might turn this into a journal to document her coming back into work so I can look back over it.