Instead of the same old practice, practice, practice that we frequently do, I decided to shake things up. We walked the perimeter of our large arena as usual, but rather than going to my 20 X 20 meter schooling square, I asked Speedy G to boogie around the arena perimeter again, but this time at a brisk trot. He was a bit puzzled, but then he got into it. After a lap or two, I asked for the canter and just let him rock it out. After going about half way, he started flicking his ears at me as if to say, wait a minute, shouldn't I be doing this more slowly? I answered in the affirmative and asked him to shorten his body a bit and come onto the bit. He did so willingly so we made a nice circle and came back to walk.
Speedy was delighted. As soon as we started walking he dropped his head and stretched deeply. I could hear him saying, ahhh, that feels good! After a bit of walking, we changed directions and did the whole thing again going the other direction. The whole exercise took about 15 minutes tops, but Speedy did it with no fussing, bucking, or kicking at my leg. I'd say that was a very good first ride after the show. Who says we can't ride just for fun?