Removing saddle before bridle after riding?
Those who have read some of my posts know we have a new horse which we bought for my 10 year old daughter who has been riding for four years. She had a coach for about a year who initiated her to jumping and did some great progress with her. But now we've moved the horse closer to us and decided to try a different coach (the old one is now an hour away). I've had doubts about her before, which I expressed in a different thread, but overall, I thought my daughter was doing well with her. Except that on her third lesson with her, she was pretty harsh and said some things that I really wondered about. She seemed to be in a bad mood that day and was quite critical of my daughter. When my daughter tugged a little on the bridle to get her horse's attention (he is an Arab and a real sweetheart, but easy to distract), she told her in a fairly aggressive manner that it was cruelty to animals and that her horse would never trust her. I thought ok, I get that she wants my daughter to respect her horse, but it was a bit harsh.
The lesson went ok, although when tacking up, when my daughter put on the saddle and her horse took a step forward on the cross-ties, she got upset, made my daughter take the saddle off the horse, show it to him, let him smell it, got her to touch the horse on the shoulder with the saddle, then put it on his back. Now, this is a 15 year old been there, done that, very well-trained horse. He doesn't make a habit of moving away from the saddle, but if he did and she responded by removing the saddle, wouldn't that just give him the idea that this is a great way to get the saddle off?
She went on to criticize a lot of my daughter's technique to the point where my daughter just gave me the bridle and asked me to do it for her since this is something she struggles with and she didn't want to get ragged out again.
Anyway, back to the lesson. The one thing that drives me nuts about this coach is that she praises the horse often by patting him, kissing him on the nose, etc., right in the middle of the lesson. He is a very sweet, loving horse and loves attention so after a while, he would just keep walking over to her for attention and she kept reinforcing it. Meantime, my daughter is trying to learn to ride without using reins - just her seat and legs. And she gets ragged on again when the horse decides to go to the middle of the arena to get attention from the coach.
But what really annoyed me was after the lesson, when we went back into the barn to untack. We led the horse to the cross ties, put the reins over his head for control and proceeded to undo the bridle to put him on cross times. She stopped us and said no, you have to take the saddle off first. This makes no sense to me. How is she going to hold her horse if she has to take the girth and saddle off and put them on a saddle rack? It seems much more risky to try to hold onto the end of the reins of a loose horse while putting away a saddle than to just take the bridle off, put him on cross ties, then take the saddle off. Am I way off base on this? It could very well be, because my formal riding instruction is extremely limited, but it seems odd to me.