I did go without stirrups on Saturday though. I even took them off my saddle completely so that I wouldn't be tempted. Except that's kind of a lie as I didn't remove my leathers for my own benefit.
Laurel, the neighbor, has been riding Willie a lot lately, but she's been doing it in a jumping saddle. And they're not jumping. They're doing some trotting, but the truth is, she and the ranch owner are doing just as much walking and talking and laughing as anything else.
Neither of them has much experience with a dressage saddle, so Laurel asked if I would help her get Willie tacked up. After much digging through the tack room, we found some old dressage pads, a couple of girths, and some leathers. After switching things around a bit, we got one of Izzy's girths to fit (Willie actually needs a smaller one), two of the pads served the purpose of one good one, and the leathers were hung.
When Laurel got on though, we found that the leathers were way too long for her, and no one wanted to spend time punching new holes. Speedy's a well broke pony these days, so I just slid my leathers off and put them on her saddle.
From there, Laurel rode around adjusting the stirrups up and down until she found a length that worked for her. Undeterred, I hopped up on Speedy without any stirrups and proceeded to work through the elements of Second Level Test 1.
Not bragging, but I am so pleased with the development of my sitting trot! I still can't sit a big trot lengthening, but I can now actually sit the trot! We even cantered and did walk to canter to walk transitions. Now that I know I can, I am going to ditch my stirrups a few times over the next few weeks.
Not that I want Speedy to fail at Second Level, but I don't want to be the sole reason we fail either. If he's willing to work hard to do his part, I can't offer him any less. No stirrups it is!