Monday, October 28, 2013

I've been working on saddling more lately.  He took off bucking with my saddle again, so we went to the round pen and he moved a lot, in all sorts of different ways, so that he could get the feel of it.  I suspect it's the back cinch that's grabbing him and sending him into a tizzy. 

I even set up a little "jump" for him with the barrel and poles.  He moved over it at the walk and trot, and I think he was pretty happy with himself.

When he's not saddled he'll come stand next to me (at liberty) while I'm on the mounting block.  Here he's telling me he can't possibly come over while he's wearing the saddle and I'm on the mounting block.  He eventually changed his mind, but he had to take some time to think about it.

A few days later he checks out his pretty blue pool noodle.
 I got on and off several times while he was saddled the other day.  He did extremely well.  I think my saddle is a bit wide.  :(

Tonight after a short bareback ride:

Handsomely tousled:

I even managed to take a few pictures while mounted.  Here he's looking for his treat:

Here he's thinking about his treat:

Checking things out:
I may have to phase out the treats pretty soon.  He focuses on them to the point where he's not really paying attention to what I'm asking, he's just trying everything he can think of that might earn him a treat.  And now that we're taking some forward steps (literally) we don't get far fast when he wants a treat with every step.

But all in all I don't have much to complain about.  We're making progress!

I took Scout to the group lesson this week and he sure could use the work.  He wasn't bad but he was interesting.  Very silly boy, very interested in everything.  Bright and alert and playful.  What a goof.


American Girl said...

Yah! You're making progress.

Erin said...

Have you considered clicker training. With his personality I think this sort of positive reinforcement would really benefit him. The click becomes the reward rather than the treat (you phase out treats that are food) in addition do you have one of those things that attach the back cinch to the front cinch? I confess I never used a back cinch in all my years of western riding. One of my friends hollared at me and said it was safety (she ropes though and games... I just trail rode

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I have considered clicker training, but I just kinda don't want to. I have a clicker, and I know it works, and I don't really have a good reason for not wanting to, but I just don't. Dumb answer I guess. It wouldn't hurt to try. One of these days maybe I will. He already tries SO hard, and he knows the word "oops" and he knows when he's done right. He's pretty amazing. :)

Yeah, the front and back cinch are attached, and it's as far forward as it will adjust to. He's also cinchy about the front cinch (I don't over-tighten it), so I'm kind of wondering if he's got a physical problem I need to look at. Or maybe the saddle doesn't fit, or maybe he just doesn't like being squeezed... So many variables!

He had another bucking fit today, right at a moment when he humped up his back and went into a turn (going into the round pen) so I think it is that back cinch that's setting him off, but I'm staying open minded about it possibly being something else. I'm half tempted to sell my saddle and get something that's rigged differently and fits right. I wish I could afford a treeless for him, and keep this saddle for Scout. Can't have everything though!