I lease an OTTB mare, and she is AMAZING when you're on her, but on the ground not so much. She's been getting better about being groomed, but the second she sees a saddle she's like "OH HELL NO" and just tries to bite, has even tried kicking out. Her mom and I are firm with her and we get it on and she KNOWS we aren't going to hurt her but from her racing days she just has it in her head that saddle means racing I think? Recently I've been giving her treats while saddling, and not letting her have the treat till her ears are forward and she's giving me a "nice face". I've always tried letting her see my saddle pads/saddle and sniff and touch them and give her a treat when she doesn't put her ears back but sometimes that results in her trying to bite my very expensive saddle :(
I know she can't be uncomfortable in the saddle because she is great once your on...just saddling her up is terrible...Same with blanketing actually...Can't put a blanket on her unless she's in cross ties unless you want to risk getting bit/kicked :(
Any suggestions? She loves treats and isn't the kind of horse that will start begging for more but I just feel like there has to be something else I can try? I won't give her a treat either unless she's being at least someone decent and giving me a "nice face" lol.