On Monday I wasn't able to actually put a leg over on Hola (just laid over her) so this evening as more like ride 3.5 than ride 4. When I asked her to step up to the mounting block L. and I immediately got the impression that she was less than impressed to find herself there once again. Her expression read something like "Again!? Really!? F*%$." So I started by laying on her again but I knew that I was just stalling and probably annoying her and I needed to cowgirl up and swing my leg over. So I did. I tried not to hold my breath or tense up. She didn't tense up but she did seem to be holding her breath. I waited there and told L to stand by and until she chewed. I didn't like how tense that poll looked but before I could even finish my sentence she chewed and dropped her head. *wipes sweaty brow*. For the first time ever (on her back) I asked her to step forward without being lead (L. went and stood against the rail). She was confused and took a few halting steps. I asked again and she went a few steps and stopped. She had her ears on me and she was clearly confused that she was being asked to move without being lead or driven. But she did move, if in halting steps, and her body just didn't feel tight or locked up. L. said she could believe how much she seemed to be trying to figure out how to balance my weight. I asked again and got another few steps. I really wanted her to move her feet and free up her body some but after five minutes of getting only three steps at a time I resolved that I would quit when I got five steps in a row. Not a minute later she gave me five so I stopped asking for forward and she stood. I wanted to wait for her to chew again but her poll and jaw didn't seem tense and her head was level. I waited. And waited. And waited. It seemed like forever but it was more like 3-4 minutes. .The sun was getting low in the sky and it was a nice warm day after a few days of rain. If I were not on her back it would seem that she was just sleepy and soaking up the sun... but I was on her back so I thought she might be internalizing everything and maybe overwhelmed. When her eyes half closed I bumped and rocked a little to try to get her to pay attention to me up there. I asked L. what she thought and she said that her back leg was resting and her hip was cocked and her eyes were half closed. So I got off and pet on her face a little. She didn't move. She didn't lick and chew and she looked the picture of relaxation. I was stumped. Could it be possible that she really was that relaxed? Was she zoning out? I stood for a while longer and then asked her to step forward. She just moseyed along back to the barn and when I turned her loose in the pasture she did run, buck or roll...she just quietly walked out to graze. When I brought her in that night she was still really quiet. I noticed the night before at feeding that she was in heat. Could that play in to it? I shouldn't question such a good thing but my brain wont stop warning me to not count my chickens just yet! I think that tomorrow I will see if L. cant pony me off another horse. I want to get her walking out some. I also need to get out of the bark mulch round pen, the footings deep and makes for a soft fall but it is hard to move in. The idea of riding her on the gravel is terrifying. I have come off on that ground and it is like hitting cement. Maybe the small field right outside the round pen would be a better option.