|Checking out the saddle pad.|
We lost a good deal of snow in the last few days but what's left is ice and hard, very uneven ground so terrible footing for working with the horses. I have lunged *Benjamin every day except for yesterday and his transitions have improved tremendously. Still have to work on the trot to walk but it won't take much longer. I still have him on a 40 foot circle so it's time to "give him more rope", so to speak.
Because the footing is so poor I decided to make it a tack fitting day. As I mentioned before I am treating *Ben as a complete restart so am approaching every step as though he has never done something or seen something before. I have had a couple of episodes of shying in the last year - at a fly mask one time, a rain slicker another time. At the time I thought he had developed fears to certain types of "things" but now I realize he and I didn't have a relationship for him to rely upon to help him through. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?
First I sacked him out with the surcingle and then put it on him. He didn't budge. I asked him to walk both directions on the 12 foot lead. I stopped him, removed the surcingle and then introduced him to his new saddle pad. He was leary but I think it had more to do with the colour and the lack of horse smell on it (it's brand new). Once I could see he was okay with it I put the pad on, put the surcingle back on and asked him to move out again. No issues!