Today I rode with a saddle for the first time in a long time. I've been riding bareback. Which has been great for my balance, but I wanted to do more work with him, and I'm just not in shape to do that bareback. Even with a saddle, it was hard work. He hates flatwork, which is riding in the arena doing various activities. Today I started with the basics. Around the arena at a rapid walk or trot, changing direction by walking a diagonal line, and keeping the speed consistent at the walk or trot. Since he hates it, he's never very cooperative. You'd be surprised at hard it is to ride in a straight line when your horse wants nothing more than to stop doing this boring thing that you're doing. (It was feeding time, which didn't help. He kept trying to stop at the gate so I could dismount and take him to his hay. It was a little pitiful, but he was all of 10 minutes late to his dinner.) He was a little better at the trot. But it was still very hard work getting him to go at the same speed. The long and short of it is that I was frustrated with him, and even more frustrated at myself, as if I were in better shape, it would be a lot easier to focus on him, instead of my sack of potatoes riding form. Riding is much more of a workout than people think. So I'll get in shape pretty quickly. But in the meantime, I've decided that arena work on a recalcitrant horse is next level emotional development.