Knowing that a tough day was ahead of us, and because it was 80 degrees, Friday was a light day. Readjusting the goals to recognize that, I decided to hack pony around the property. We rode in her field, around the outside of the ring, and behind the barn near Ritter's field. The goal became to quietly hack on a loose rein in and out of the ring.
Success! To say that I'm proud of the pony's recent successes would be an understatement. It seems like the little girl is finally growing up! She has been handling new situations well, she likes the constant change in routine, and she has just been fabulous overall. While the ride was just a light walk, trot, canter outside the ring, I have been finding that the more the ride is changed up (with consistency in the questions of course). For example, I can ride her like a pleasure pony with the reins on the buckle the whole time, circling, transitions, etc. Or I can take up contact, do lead changes, our basic dressage etc., and still be successful. It also no longer matters if I'm on her back or up off it. Yay for adjustability! The adjustability will certainly come in handy when its time to work over fences!