A big week for Roach, receiving his first saddle.
With the cooler weather on Monday, everyone was feeling a bit fresh, so we spent some time reviewing our previous groundwork exercises so that saddling would go smoother later in the week.
On Wednesday, Roach received his first saddle. It went about as I expected. While he had no problem with the saddle pad being tossed willy-nilly upon his back, he was a bit worried about the saddle, which isn't uncommon. He did put on a good show initially when he felt the cinches grab him once he began to move his feet. On the first day of saddling, I don't mind if they buck. It gives them the chance to see that it doesn't have the effect of getting rid of the saddle as they would hope & gives me a chance to see what their "big" reaction is upfront versus on the 5th ride.
After some time moving around in the round pen, he got turned loose in the arena to get used to wearing the saddle for the afternoon. Upon catching him again, he was a bit reactive when asked to move out around me, but he was able to work through it. He was nervous about the noise the lead rope made sliding across the saddle & a bit worried about the noise of my stick bouncing against the saddle. He really didn't have much reaction to me flapping the stirrups. Once he was more comfortable with the sounds & sensations, we unsaddled before it got too dark.