Introduction to saddle

I’ve discovered that Rhona is VERY cautious about new equipment of any kind. It took me two days just to get a saddle blanket on her back. She spent hours just sniffing, snorting, pawing and backing away. (I don’t believe in old-fashioned “sacking out.” I prefer to let her accept things at her own pace, even if it means revising my mental training timeline. PMU mares have had precious little novelty in their lives; I figure a fear of new things is to be expected.)

She’s okay with the blanket now, but a saddle seems to be more than she can handle at this point, so I switched tactics and bought a nice leather bareback pad instead. I’ve been working with it for two days now, and today I was even able to tighten the cinch. She was a little scared, but she didn’t panic or buck. I think she’ll settle down in another day or two, then maybe we’ll try the saddle again.

Next weekend I also intend to start ground-driving her to introduce her to reining…

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