Sorry no pictures again. It's too cold to take my gloves off lol. It was actually in the fifties today! Heaven! I never thought I would think of that as warm, but after the temps lately it is. :D
I rode him in his halter and saddle, down the road and back for a total of two and a half miles. He was forward, eager and willing. :D We mostly walked (it took us almost an hour I think lol) with a little bit of trotting. I trotted him in the field and he wanted to canter SO BAD! I didn't let him because I don't want him always thinking canter when we trot. It was tempting though hehe. I had him on the buckle (well it was a lead rope tied to both sides of his halter with no buckle, but you get the idea) pretty much the whole time. The only time I had them short was when we trotted and when we got back home the mare across the street galloped to us, neighing and he wanted to stop and gawk.
That was the only time he balked though. The really great part is when we decided to turn around (because it was getting dark and we had no reflective gear) he didn't want to turn around!! He really wanted to keep going. Such a good boy. I guess he likes trail (road) riding as much as I do. :)
The only bad spot in the whole evening is when I got home, I dismounted, pulled the rope over his head and then stepped up to the back of my car to open it. He took that as an invitation to walk off (and may have misunderstood me turning my back thinking I was walking away since he leads on a loose rope) and when he hit the end of his rope that was looped over my arm he was pulled to the side and stepped on my heel.... ow!!!! It will probably bruise, but it wasn't too bad. I only limped around for a few minutes and then it was numb from the cold haha! As pissed as I was about him walking off I didn't yell at him because he didn't mean to step on me. I just backed him up and put him back where I left him, then I untacked him and tied him to the light pole while I limped off to wait out the pain.
He was still a little reactive, but much calmer today. It could have been the warmer temp or it could have been because I didn't yell at him (or anyone else) or yank on him. Who knows? The good news is that once again the saddle didn't seem to bother him and he wasn't sore when I palpated his back, even though this was the third day in a row being ridden (a first for us). :) His stifles were a little sticky, probably from doing so much trotting two days in a row. I'll definitely give him a day off and see how he is on Friday. :)
Also I want to thank all of you for the sweet comments. The perspective you guys provide me with is so amazing and I am truly grateful!!