All dressed up and nowhere to go! See see, doesn't she look cuuuute in it!
(Oh, and those are bug bites on her shoulder, no longer hives, yay! I need to buy her a fly sheet though. In other news I ordered an air pad today, but we used this old fleece thing to play with.)
Today was all about 7 games with the saddle. She was awesome! I let her investigate the saddle and pad for a while, and paw at it. We practiced some circling, letting her stop at the saddle. Since we did the work with the rope around her enough, she had very little reaction to actually getting cinched up. Course when I went to stand next to the stirrups I practically had to promise her that I wasn't getting on, and she was very clear she didn't want me to. But it wasn't about the saddle. She's good at being RBI and freezing, and I see how it was easy for her early trainers to sneak stuff on her while she's pretending to be calm. It's equally easy for anyone to blow her up, so I had to be careful to not approach any more until she un-froze. She has a good poker face (lol!) but it's her all-revealing tail that I tend to watch. There was one point I was standing in zone 3 and it was sticking straight out!!!! I got rid of most of her tension with a little "saddle? what saddle?" attitude, and kept her moving her feet. It took some convincing to teach her that she could wear the saddle and walk at the same time, but soon she got it. She makes me laugh. Then I put the savvy string around a stirrup and waved the stirrup and fender all around, making noise, throwing it up, letting it flop on her, until I got all the reactivity out of her. At first she'd freeze for a second, jump into a quick step or two, freeze again. By the end I could rattle it around all I wanted and she was calm. She definitely didn't think she could trot with it on, but I got 2 whole laps of trot within a few minutes! Guess that's how I could tell she was mainly RBI today... she doesn't do trotting when she's LBI!
To finish off, I put my foot in the stirrup and jumped up and down a few times both sides. She was a little resistant at first, then she realized that's all I was going to do and she quit caring. Can't wait until I see it blow her mind during our first pushing passenger lesson, when she learns that riders don't need to be micromanagers!