Honest to goodness, I had an actual ride on Gwen today.
First of all, I took her over to the mounting block and got on without putting a flake of hay down first. She stood like a stone until I was mounted and she was rewarded. Brilliant.
Then walked up the hill around the barn, and she halted when I asked her to before turning into the Christmas tree field. Excellent.
We turned into the field and hit a bit of a snag- I wanted to turn around and head back, she wanted to graze. Grazing wasn't on my agenda, so we had to do some hip yielding until she decided to just stay in the direction I pointed her. Points for me on sticking to my guns.
Then she walked down the hill and turned toward the barn when I asked her, and halted again when I asked. Awesome.
Oh, and guess what? She backs under saddle! I asked her on Sunday and she just glided backwards- there was no pushing through the reins or trying to slide left and right, she just stepped back. So cool. I asked her again today with the same result, flowing backwards. All of our ground work has really paid off.
We've now got go forward, turn, halt, and back. The building blocks for making a riding horse.
It was a simple, short ride by most standards, but considering how far we've come I had to crow about it!