So in case anyone is wondering, because it's not been clear in my last several posts - I love my horse. She is unbelievably awesome and her fabulosity shines through more and more. This is not because she is becoming a better horse but rather because I am figuring how to be a better human.
Just a couple details on the play session. We had a brief warm-up in the paddock and then I saddled her in the aisle way. With her 22' piled on the ground, she stood, facing the grass and accepted the saddling and girthing. She moved once or twice but I just calmly put her back where I wanted. Once mounted, I worked a little on "don't graze until I give permission." This is a leadership issue and we're addressing it.
The idea was to go on a little trail ride. Didn't really work out. The setting sun brought out the little bugs and Cricket started headshaking. At first I wanted to just push her through it. Don't ask me why. I quickly got hold of myself, told the others to go on and turned her back to the barn. I stood her tied while I did some feed prep and then took her back into the arena.
In the arena we played with walk-trot transitions and Cricket's new favorite thing - cantering. Not quite sure why my LBI loves cantering in the arena. Maybe it's her way of defying definition. I worked on some control at the right lead - cantering down the long side, circling the back half of the arena and then continuing down the other long side. We even picked up the left lead and went about 3/4 of the way around the arena.
Called it a win! Worked on opening the gate and exiting the arena. She's a little difficult going through the gate but better than she's ever been about standing while I close it. Having a savvy string on the gate has helped give us more drift and thus more success.
Wandered in the paddock, chatting with some friends. Played more "don't eat, yet" and had moderate success. Considering this is only our second time playing with it under saddle, I'm more than pleased.
I'm having more fun with her than I could ever imagine. I need to work on downward transitions - it's very unpretty right now. But I don't care. We'll figure it out, just like we have everything else.