I didn't warm him up for long before I felt ready to ride. I decided to just use the rope hack. Once mounted, I spent several minutes working on his lateral flexion and looking for a positive response. Once we had that, I asked him to back up with my seat. He had it! He remembers what I taught him a while back. This was my first time riding him in probably 6 months. I've been focused on groundwork with him and making sure we've got all the right ingredients for successful riding.
We took it slow and followed the rail with some corners game mixed in. We then tried some figure 8 at the walk. He definitely can be bracy and we'll keep fixing that up.
It was a short session, but he was doing so well and I wanted the ride to be a positive easy experience. I let him hang out in the arena to eat the goodies (weeds and grass). Then, eventually, went back in to get him. His response to me is very positive and I'm pleased.
A nice, slow and right session with Gem!