Now that your horse is gentle and more trusting of you, the trainer, we may proceed to the real object of training, getting the horse and rider together as a comfortable partnership.
Objective: At the end of Phase 3, the horse will readily accept the saddle, cinch, stirrups and bit. Use the same techniques for the next steps as you used in phase 2.
Step 2: If the horse accepts the blanket, set the saddle on the horse. (DO NOT throw the saddle on the horses back) Make sure that the stirrups and cinch (es) are on the seat so that they do not unexpectedly slap the horse on the opposite side. Remove the saddle and walk away. Repeat until the horse is relaxed and comfortable. After the horse accepts this way of saddleling, you can begin to “throw” the saddle onto him without putting the stirrups/cinch up.
NOTE:As in all steps, do not rush this step. Be sure the horse is ready before going ahead.
Step 3: Tighten the cinch (es)
NOTE:It is important that the rider learn how to tighten the cinch. The saddle should be snug so that it will not fall off the horse’s back. However, it should not be so tight that it makes the horse look like a peanut.
Step 4: Move the horse around the pen, letting him get used to the feel of the saddle. He may buck and kick, just keep him moving, by putting pressure on the hip. When he stops bucking take the pressure off. (the pressure is using your body “energy” focused on the hip) When he relaxes, ask for his attention again.
Step 6: The horse needs to accept the above steps, and be comfortable being handled around the head and ears. Teach him to drop his head by placing your hand lightly on his head between his ears (on the poll) and the other hand on his nose, just below the eyes. Hold until the horse drops his head and quickly release. Repeat until a light touch on the poll will be the cue to lower his head.
Step 7: Introduce your hand into the horse’s mouth, before introducing the bit. Take your hand, wiggle until you are able to put your hand into the mouth. Remove your hand immediately. Repeat several times until the horse is comfortable. Introduce the bit into his mouth, let it drop out and repeat a couple of times. Keep the horse from throwing his head with your other hand.
NOTE:Try not to let the bit bang on the horse’s teeth or on his mouth. This will make him afraid of the bit.
Taken from HorseSense HorseManShip Qavah Training, available at HorseSense HorseManShip website.