The plan was to walk her around the field and when she relaxed and was ready to work, I would ask for the trot and we would work on that. That was the plan anyways... We all know how that goes. As it was, Aruba would not just settle down and relax. She was looking around, anything but soft, sometimes refusing to bend or give, kept offering to trot on her own and just seemed to be on edge the whole time. At one point she got frustrated and threw in a crowhop to the left. There were a few times it took her several steps to actually stop and even then, she was ready to go again before I would ask. Also when she was walking, she was biting the air in protest of going so slow. Literally biting the air.
She did submit and kept it at a walk for the most part. She did soften here and there, as well as bending and giving me a nice serpentine in between being a Lookie-Lou over there, then over here, back to over there.... But she's fairly green when you think about it so this is all to be expected on some level. We made several stops, backed a few steps sometimes before proceeding on and as always, ended on a good note. At least in the open field.
When we got back to the stalls and into the small arena, I let her trot. As long and as fast as she wanted to as long as she kept it at a trot. What she did was reach out and down, giving me a very forward, soft and giving, ground covering T.R.O.T! I kept my hands low to her neck, not interfering and let her go as long as she wanted to. When a horse is moving properly like this, it is SO MUCH easier to post or even sit the trot. Their body just moves yours without effort. It is such a cool feeling and they feel so powerful under you.
I eventually slowed her to a walk, reversed directions and asked her to trot again. I must've thought she would want to. I thought wrong! Clearly we weren't on the same page with that idea. Going to the left she might as well have flipped me the bird with both front hooves. She made one or two laps and decided it was time to quit. When I pushed her on, she does this thing where she raises her head, turns it to the inside, wrings her tail and grinds her damn teeth. I hate that noise. On the next lap around, as we entered the "Ugly Face" area of the arena, I widened my hands, put my outside leg on her, moved her over a bit and clucked to her to keep her moving. She did, but only after slightly less resistance. Each time around she became a little softer, though she was still grinding her teeth here and there.
This time as she was going around, I was able to work the timer function on my phone and get a reading for the challenge. Two point is a Helluva LOT easier at the faster gaits. We clocked a 2:43 for that. Yay! My legs are still a bit sore, especially on the inside of my thighs, which is strange because I don't remember squeezing that much or that hard with my legs. Apparently I was though, because the muscles don't lie...