I'm sure most of you know about my colt. But if you don't, here's a little info. He's a two year old (2 1/2 to be technical), green broke Quarter Horse gelding.
Anyway, I'm having some problems with saddling (and even blanketing) him now after an ill-fitting saddle was used on him. The very first time I saddled him (and blanketed him) after getting him, he was totally chill with both. Now, if I approach him with even just the saddle blanket, he backs up, hits the end of the rope (not hard), and freaks out. Not big, just a little fit. His two fronts leave the ground and he just trembles, snorts, and jerks his head. It's worse with the winter blanket.
If you manage to get him saddled, he's completely fine and well-behaved. It's just the problem of getting
the saddle on
The other day, I did manage by bribing him with some treats.
I tied him very loose, so that if he jerked away it would just come undone but I could still grab him. Then I got my saddle pad and just gently brushed him with it. He trembled and backed away, so I tried again. As soon as he accepted it I gave him a treat. When he knew treats were involved, the situation definitely changed.
The saddle was harder, as it's an extremely heavy roping saddle, so I can't put it on very easily. He was definitely less freaked out now, but still backed away. So I put my bucket on the ground with the few remaining treats in it, and he let me saddle him. After I got it on he was completely fine and is not in the least bit cinchy or anything.
But I am not one that likes to bribe a horse to do something. I expect them to behave without a bribe. How do I fix this?
I will add it was completely my fault in the first place because I assumed my Billy Cook was fitting him fine, since it fit any horse. I know, stupid me and big mistake. After the second time with it on him he showed me he was uncomfortable and did so by bucking and being tense. As soon as I took it off him, those behaviors dissolved. I put it back on without the pad and sure enough, terrible
fit. I feel so bad about it.
I found a saddle that does fit him very well, but now I have this problem. How do I fix it? Will he just find that this new saddle doesn't bother him and stop doing this?
Thanks ahead of time and sorry for the lengthy post.