Rode yesterday afternoon. It was sunny and WARM (high 70's) but very windy. Very.
I tied Arabee with the blocker tie ring, started grooming the mud and loose hairs off - her summer coat wants very much to come out! She was jumpy - the windy gusts making "monsters" bang around. I thought 'this could be interesting' and proceeded to saddle up, pick feet, attach one end of the reins to the lead rope spot of our riding halter.
I'd planned on riding in the winter lot by the barn where she lives right now (until April 15 - our turn-everything-out-on-pasture day) so I led her in and, oops, she rubbed a stirrup on the post by the gate, and rushed past me, accidentally knocking my ankle with the wall of one of her hooves. Ouch, but not too bad, really.
So after that and the stirrup freak-out episode of the last ride, I felt it prudent to go ahead and review the stirrup thing. So I flopped the stirrups all around, and took off the rein and sent her around me in the lot - walking and trotting - but it was such an extreme effort for me to get her out of a walk and she was handling the presence of flopping stirrups so well that it was obviously time to just get on and ride already.
So, I did. All we did was walk around on a loose rein, turning, whoa-ing and practicing on sublety - after a little while she was doing a fabulous job of just walking where I would look - it was great. Eventually, we both got a little bored with the walking/turning thing and started to "herd" the goats - if they were standing outside of the barn, I'd try to turn them (sort of pretending they were calves). It was silly, but fun. Maybe if I get brave this summer I'll try her on actual calves, although they're bigger and much faster.
Anyway, it was fun, I achieved my goal of riding a relaxed ride with no point aside from having fun and getting my legs tired (which I achieved in the short 20 minute ride time...sad)