I was prepared for a kinda rough ride with all of his time off and lazy rides, but he was a super good boy. I started with a ton of lateral work at the walk. We did bend and counter-bend, leg yields, shoulder-in, etc. His first couple of trots were a bit tense and upside down, but we did more of the same lateral work and he loosened up quite quickly. I threw in some counter-canter pretty early in the ride and he handled it wonderfully. He wanted to stretch but was still happy to collect as well. He was just a really good boy.
It was unfortunately still fairly hot, even at 9:30 in the morning, so Mort was leaning toward being lazy. He's started to develop a head tilt sometimes instead of bending. It's been happening the last couple months. Luckily, as long as I notice it and apply some inside leg he steps up and bends properly. Definitely something that I need to keep in mind, especially when it's hot and he's feeling lazy.
With him being wonderful and it being hot we kept it short and sweet. I played with a few things and ended the ride fairly early. A fellow barn-mate was riding and I invited him to "trail ride" the fence line with me so we all got to enjoy a nice, easy walk. Mort got a cool hose-off and I left him to enjoy his hay in his stall.