Ok, GREAT UPDATE.
So I put the saddle on Duke. Gave him a good rubbing, walked him around in the saddle for about 5 minutes. So far so good..... I lunged him for about 20 minutes before his ride. I can see why he bucks and bolts. When I started lunging him, he didn't buck OR bolt, but he was an EXPLOSION of energy. I didn't need any aids to lunge him, he just took off....FAST. so I started some change of directions.. ALOT of them to get him thinking and working and calm him down. We did this for 20 minutes or so until he settled down. I gave his trainer a leg up and he didn't even THINK about bolting or not going forward. He just started going forward. This is HUGE because before he would just freeze up and not move. So, she stayed in the round pen for about 5 minutes, I saddled up Chick and we went on a nice quied WALKING trail ride for reward. Duke LOVES going out and he was being very good so we rode for about an hour and came home and ended on a good note. He didn't show any signs of pain, he was quiet and relaxed ears forward on the trail. So, I guess this is how it has to be for now, warm-up before getting in the saddle. I suppose I will do this for a while and then try to wean it down to less and less warmup. Not really sure.........my first TB, a hot horse is new to me........whatever it is...HAPPY DAY
DUKE is on the left :)