Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
I train the horse for the saddle, then put the first 5 or 6 rides on bareback. Introducing the two (cinch and weight on their back) separately, then I combine them.
I'll get a horse used to saddle pads, surcingle, saddle, driving over their shoulder, etc. I pony them with the saddle on, shake them around with the saddle, get on a fence or mounting block and lean over them. I'll lay over them and have them move their feet.
I'll put a walk and trot on bareback, and sometimes I'll add a canter bareback as well. Depends on how much I trust the horse.
After a few rides like this, I'll saddle up and teach them mounting and dismounting, both sides. Then I get on with the saddle and continue with the walk, trot, canter, and add the gallop after a few rides.
I don't like it when a horse doesn't know how to gallop with a rider. I won't gallop all the time, obliviously, but I want a horse to know how to carry me at that gait in case I ever do want/need to gallop.
I also have a bit of thing for the old cowboy method of 'you're stealing a ride until you canter'. I don't canter the first few times on a horse, but I don't consider them green broke or 'ridden' until I can put a comfortable canter on them.
I figure if a girl wants to be a LEGEND, she should just go ahead and be one. ~Calamity Jane