The weather turned decent for a brief period, this fall has been gloomy, cold, and wet, and I took advantage of it to go play with Harvey. The last time we worked, a few weeks? a month? ago, he was so good about letting me put a blanket on his back that I wanted to try a saddle. He is supposed to be rideable. There is, supposedly, a video out there of him being ridden. He came so worried about people and all the things we might do to him that I am starting over as if he doesn‘t know anything. That way we can not only get him over his fear of people but find any holes in his training and fix them.
We spent maybe half an hour all together. This is the TLDR version. I have longer clips of the individual segments but this pretty much covers it. I used my daughters saddle, it’s lighter and I’d rather it got smashed than mine if something went dreadfully wrong. He is on a lead rope for both of our safety. So he can’t take off and so I can keep his head towards me if needed, instead of his hind end and feet. It wasn’t needed and you’ll notice the rope stays loose for the whole thing.
This is far easier on both of us than round pen work. His full attention is on me, trying to please and wanting to work. He took the saddle happily. We cinched it up slowly, showing him it wasn’t scary or going to hurt. I was going to put a foot in each stirrup when I realized that I should make sure he knew how to give his head to pressure first. I like to have them looking at me when I do. harder to kick that way. Then I put my foot in the stirrups before we worked on yielding to pressure from the stirrup to emulate leg pressure. He behaved wonderfully for all of it.
There’s still more to be done before getting on, asking him to give his head with the bit instead of the halter, teaching him to step over to the fence, but it’s getting close. He’s so sweet and getting to be so calm about everything that I can’t wait to get on and see what he does. Now if only the weather would cooperate.
- Trail Ride
- Harvey 10th Go, First Saddle