He took a saddle today!
However, saddles seem to make him nervous. I know he had an idiot of a 'trainer' decide to 'cowboy' him up and just threw a saddle on him and rode him like in the rodeo. (Apparently the horse won....). So today I took him to the round pen and had the saddle on the fence waiting to tack him up, and every time he passed the saddle, he'd shy away from it. Poor thing! Well, I let him work until he decided he would calm down (worked up a pretty good sweat but he wasn't running 'crazy', just a good trot). Once he was calmed down my mom held him while I put the saddle on him. He didn't freak out like he had before (last time I tried to work with saddling him was last summer and he about pulled the boards off the barn from the cross ties). He shied just a bit, but with a soft word, firm grip on his rope, and gentle patting, I had him fully saddled, cinched and all! He stood like a PRO! I slapped on the saddle, and pulled on it and jerked the stirrups and he just stood there!. So I worked him a bit in it and he did well, even did a nice little trot, slow a bit...'floaty' lol. He was VERY responsive, calm, paid attention, and joined up sooooo wonderfully! Even my mom couldn't believe what a great head this horse has on his shoulders! (and she's seen me work with horses before).
I plan on doing some more desensitizing so tomorrow I'll be freaking him out with a plastic sack on my crop lol. He's going to HATE me tomorrow! Lol
Also, he's still having 'space' issues. He tends to like being RIGHT next to you. He listens if you tell him to back off, but if you aren't on guard to tell him off, he'll be RIGHT on you lol. It's kind of cute but I know it's not 'allowed'. He also likes to play with his head a lot. Nodding and nosing things, lipping things and nudging me/my mom. Again, he listens if you tell him off, but if you aren't paying 100% attention to him, he gets in your space and pushy for attention. I don't know if this is cute or what. If he was disrespectful of being told off I'd worry...but since he responds to being told off I don't know if it's that big of a deal...Opinions on this?
Another thing he did well today was take a bit! It's a slow twist snaffle (won't be keeping this when I actually go to riding him but didn't see the need to change it today since it would just be in his mouth for him to get used to it). He took it like a champ! Every time I do something with this horse he amazes me!
After we were ALL done for the day, he was pretty sweaty, and since it was a lovely warm day with some wind, I figured I'd try one more thing on him (writing all this out it seems like so much to ask of a horse fresh into full time handling! Lol). He was rinsed off! I've seen him freak out a bit at new things, but, I've also seen him just be flat out curious about other things. So I took the change, prepared for an explosion, and turned the water on. A slight jig to the side then....standing perfect! Again I couldn't believe it! I'm starting to think that the people who owned him before the girl I bought him from worked with him before selling him. He's just too well behaved to be 'basically' untouched! Are there horses out there that are just....programed to be trained or something? Lol. He's also VERY affectionate and I think he's already bonded to me. Even after all I did to him today, I took his halter off, pushed him off and told him to 'git' but he continued to follow me around like a puppy! Lol. I LOVE IT!
Anyway, there's some pictures of his wonderful work out with his bit and saddle on!
I have some video of him working in the round pen, as well as him and I working together. Without a lead rope he'd follow me around. I'd jog, he'd trot, I stopped, he stopped. It was wonderful but I don't know how to upload video on here lol.