I took Mr. Big out solo today. Only the second time I've taken him solo outside the pasture, I think. Maybe the third. The weather has been so crummy we just haven't gotten out much. The Mrs. And I went out for a bit a couple days ago but that's it for over a week.
Today it was sunny, warmer, and no wind! The snow was almost belly deep in places--and only a few inches in others. Probably averaged about knee deep on Mr. Big.
He was REALLY fractious for the first 10 or 15 minutes then he settled down real nice. I think he was a bit barn sour to start--guess I'll have to take him out solo more often to get him over that. Tough medicine!
I also realized I was reining poorly. Not enough back pressure on the outside rein. Once I got that figured out he also behaved a lot better. In fact, he became REALLY easy to direct! I suspect I've been doing it wrong all along. Sigh.
I also tried two new things on this ride (neither of which I probably should have done riding solo. Hmmmm). 1) I lowered the left stirrup so I could mount more easily and then was able to raise it back up from the saddle (wasn't sure I could get to the buckle to raise it back up) and 2) I carried a small quirt and smacked him when he tried to feed. He tried about three times was all and then gave it up. Best behaved he's been about feeding since I got him. Going to have to carry the little stwitch all the time!
Anyway, we had a GREAT ride, got to see some area we'd not seen before (all within a mile of home), and had a great "play in the snow" event!
And it's supposed to be snowing the rest of the week so I'm not sure I'll get out again for awhile. Sigh.