On Friday evening, my husband surprised me by saying, "Let's go riding this weekend." He never says that. So, hooray!
On Saturday, we saddled up Rose and George and off we went, me on George, my husband on Rose, and our daughter tagging along on foot to make sure my husband was safe, him not being a confident or experienced rider and all.
George lead the way, very keen. Rose came along behind, a little anxious. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, warm - but fall definitely in the air. When we came to a crossroads, George picked the farm lane, and off we went towards the creek at the bottom of the hill. George startled when he saw the light reflecting off the creek. "What is that?!"
While George was pondering this strange sight, Rose seemed like she was getting a bit stressed out at being so far from home, so we decided to head back. I took my turn monitoring Rose on foot, and my daughter mounted up on George. I walked beside Rose on the homeward road, and she relaxed, lengthened, and strode out, taking over the lead from George.
When we reached the end of our drive, she did what she has done before - she declined to go home and instead wanted to continue on the ride. We happily agreed with her suggestion and continued on a circuit of the fields. At one point, George looked like he might take the lead again, and Rose said, "Not likely!" and pushed ahead in front of him. She does like to shake off that subservient position and be her own woman sometimes.
My husband proclaimed the Cashel Soft Saddle "hands down the most comfortable saddle" he has ever sat on. I wasn't sure that his stirrups were long enough (or even), but he was quite happy - so that's a success, as he is quite picky about how he feels up there, and who could blame him, as he's not used to it.
After the ride, I asked my husband to let Rose graze on the lawn with him for a while to Encourage Bonding, plus Rose really likes that.
Everyone had a nice time.