One of the things I wanted when I was engaged in the great horse search was trying to find a horse with both go and whoa. It seems that's what I've got, and I'm delighted. Today Pie and I went on a nice trail ride, despite the fact it was in the upper 20sF with a wind chill in the low 20s. But the sun was bright, and the wind was less than yesterday, so we took what we had and made the best of it.
Pie and I hadn't been on a ride for almost a week, but he strode out nicely going away from the barn - much less sticky about it than he's been. He moved out into a nice trot whenever I asked, and immediately slowed to a walk at the slightest lift of a rein (he's still in the sidepull and goes great in it). We didn't do as much trotting as I'd have liked - the limestone trails are like concrete with the cold temperatures so we did most of our trotting where there was a grassy edge to the trail. On the way back to the barn, he did want to speed his walk up a bit, but immediately slowed or halted when I asked.
The only thing that gave him much pause was a green plastic trash can that had fallen partway over and was propped up at a 45 degree angle by its lid - now that was alarming. It was trash day and there were lots of green cans out, including some with lids banging in the wind, but he didn't mind those - just the one at an odd angle. He really didn't want to go by it and was quite concerned, so I dismounted and stood by him until he decided it was OK, led him by - he was fine with it by then - then remounted from a stump a few feet down the trail. There were a few startles due to rustlings in the grass, but he calmed down after each one pretty quickly.
Pretty good in my book for a young horse that hadn't been ridden in a week to go out and do a nice ride on a cold and windy day, and give me go and whoa whenever asked!
I also worked with Dawn for a bit in the afternoon - the first time in 11 days - we did some leading and in-hand work, including some turns on the forehand and side passing, and then we did some ground driving at the walk, doing patterns and turns. She was very forward but well-behaved and I think she appreciated the attention.