This picture was taken down at the ISC in 2005. Cricket and I were there for the very first Freestyle course, taught by Linda Parelli. I took Cricket out on the 45' and we played all over the place. It was one of my best days with her.
I decided to throw the bareback pad on Cricket last night. It was a beautiful evening and this was one of my last chances to put a leg over my horse before the hustle and bustle of camp preparation. I put the bareback pad on her and started a little ground warm-up. I've let her get very lazy about her HQ disengage so after a quick tune-up she was much more responsive. We did a little circle game and a little porcupine, driving and friendly. At the mounting block she pinned her ears quite a bit. More friendly game and good scratches. I think she's in heat and she doesn't always like being ridden when she's in season. I don't blame her.
Instead of "working on something" I decided just to go out and wander around the farm. The barn owner was doing some fencing so we wandered down the field to watch. Then we moseyed. I let her go and let her graze. With few exceptions, she was in charge. It was lovely. She was very relaxed, very responsive and we were just happy.
After we were done, I let her stand tied while I prepared feed for the boarding barn. Even when I had to remind a few horses how to have manners while I prep feed, Cricket stood with a leg cocked and total relaxation. I was very proud of her emotional fitness at feeding time.
When she was done eating, we turned the horses out but she stayed with me so I gave her some of her "special hay" and she hung out at the barn munching her hay.
It wasn't anything spectacular. And I think that's what I liked best. It was just two friends hanging out together, enjoying each other's company.