Saddle Up!

“Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, don’t fence me in. Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, don’t fence me in…. ” Ella Fitzgerald wrote it and I’ve loved it since the first moment I heard Bing Crosby, Gene Autry and a whole host of others sing it just to me! 

Galahad Saddled 7 26 09

Galahad today is your day to start making this happen.  “I’m not going to let this be a quick process,” Galahad told me, “it’s going to take plenty of time and a barrel of treats and that’s just to say okay to the saddle pad!”  Galahad’s eyes were huge when the saddle started towards him so I took it nice and slow, oh and a whole lot of treats to make it all okay!  Then when it came time to do up the cinches…you guessed it more treats.  We worked slowly and carefully and kept it all low-key.  Finally the cinches were done up loosely so I could move the saddle back and forth on his back and the britchin was dropped down, for just a moment, Galahad thought about lying down.  I knew his feet needed to start moving and so I didn’t waste any time. 

 Luc was right there on the other side of the fence walking all the way with us, just like he has with all the others that have been started here. 

Galahad relaxed and we stopped.  He liked getting his neck stroked but was not wild about me reaching back to tap on the saddle.  That brought him to life so we did it several more times.  I moved him to my other side and again first on the neck then to the saddle and this time he jumped and moved off into a circle.  That was fine as he came right back to me and we repeated the lesson several more times until he could stand quietly.  Okay, so there were more treats involved.  We walked to the end of the driveway a number of times and when the hump disappeared from under the saddle he was tied up and unsaddled.  Again taking off each piece slow and easy, except for the saddle pad which was tossed like a green salad and rubbed all over and under him many times.

Galahad did get to investigate the saddle again after the ordeal had come to a conclusion and he managed another bite sized treat out of that whole deal.  When it was all over he thought he would head to the pasture shelter to watch the thunder and lightening storms the rest of the afternoon and think about life.

Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, don’t fence me in….

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