My horses are really making me feel proud lately. Pie and Red are my gentlemen and Dawn is my lady - they are mannerly, and well-behaved, and eveything else you could wish. I can get and ride them any time of day, no matter what else is going on, and they're well-behaved and responsive. I never have to lunge before I ride - even with Dawn, who'd been off for two weeks. If they spook - and Pie and Red occasionally do - they immediately calm down and just go about things as if nothing had happened. If they're in the pasture grazing, and I halter them and ask them to come with me, they come right along without protest and without diving for grass on the way.
They lead well, stay out of my space, stand still for mounting, and ground tie when asked to. They stand still on a loose rein whenever and for as long as I want, but move off immediately in any gait I ask. If I get off them in the arena, they stand where I leave them, unless I ask them to follow me, when they do. No matter the distractions, they just go to work, and although they may be aware of what is going on around them - particularly Red - they just keep on going and paying attention to me as well. They ride on a loose rein and with contact, it doesn't matter. They're just plain connected to me now, and it's wonderful.
Some recent occasions come to mind. I started riding Dawn again at the walk two days ago, and although she hadn't been ridden in two weeks, she just went around on a loose rein with no complaints. Then today, I decided to ride her bareback - she was lovely, although a bit bony in the back for bareback. Red, yesterday, was a perfect horse despite a mare entering and leaving the arena repeatedly and even heading out to the pastures in his sight line - he was aware of her but perfectly behaved for me, and then he escorted her on a very lovely pasture excursion, although he hadn't been out there for weeks. Today, Pie and I had an exceptional ride - I was working on him lifting and engaging his hind end and some of his trot work was outstanding, and his bending and stepping under himself in the corners was excellent at trot and canter - he used to be hard work to ride (my issue, not his) and now is just a delight.
I can't even begin to say how delighted I am with all three horses - people have asked me if I have a favorite, and I have to say no - they're each just marvelous in his or her own ways.