Hello everyone...I am brand new to this forum and hope to make this board a major resource of mine. I have a new project and could use some pointers or just opinions. I was recently given an 8 year old quarter horse gelding and he is green as green can be. He has never been ridden or even worked with. All he has known up to this point is to lead on a halter which he does very well. I have owned him for a month and we've made amazing progress. He really has a wonderful and gentle disposition and is a good learner. I now have him lowering his head at the slightest touch, flexing his neck to me while standing by his side, he lunges beautifully in both directions and obeys trot, walk, and whoa commands. He didn't know any of this before. He picks up his feet well for general maintenance. All this, we've accomplished in just a month. Last week, I introduced him to a saddle pad and after a little side stepping and snorting, he calmed down and we began taking walks (with me on foot of course) with the blanket in place. A few days ago, I was even able to get a saddle on his back and did OK, BUT I didn't cinch it. He had been doing so well up to this point, that yesterday, I actually did start tugging the cinch up underneath him. I flapped it around and pulled on it, and he handled it OK. So I finally pulled the cinch strap through the buckle and just barely looped it through, just enough to keep the saddle in place and let him feel very light pressure. He didn't like that. He took off and started bucking. The saddle didn't last long since I didn't have it on very tight. Once it was off, I was able to go right after him, retrieve him, and I put him right back on the lunge line so I could get the last word in. So what would you all do next? Should I back off on the saddle for a while and introduce him to a bit instead and keep up the ground work for a while? Should I try the saddle again, buckle it better and just let him buck it out? He doesn't seem to have a problem with the saddle itself. He won't handle the slightest tightness around his barrel. I'm wondering if I should get a surcingle and use that to train him to something buckled around his barrel. I would love any information you all have. By the way, the bit I will introduce him to is a d ring copper french link snaffle. Thanks!
Katja and Rascal