When Rich came out to work with Monty and Mica, we started with Monty – as Rich saddled him up, I was surprised to see all three of my mustangs hiding in the shed, peeking over the fence to watch what was going on. I had been certain that the very curious Mica would be right there next to the fence, trying to figure out what was going on.
Rich rode Monty and then then I got on and had a lesson on him which went very well with the new saddle I had gotten fitted for him. Then I asked Rich if he could put the saddle on Mica, as the last time he had been out, Mica had worn a saddle for the first time. By this time Mica’s curiosity had gotten the better of him and he was right there waiting to be caught.
First Rich started by putting the saddle blanket on Mica’s back. He did this very casually, throwing it on there, so that Mica could get used to it and not get startled or upset. Then Rich took the saddle and swung it up on his back a couple of times. Mica’s ears were swiveling quickly to Rich, then forward, then back to Rich, but he gradually relaxed and wore the saddle, walked and trotted around the pen on the leadline.
Then Rich put some weight into the stirrup, and then using the mounting block, put his foot into the stirrup and stood in it, next to Mica. Mica was fine with this. So Rich went on to the next step – getting on!
He finally swung his leg over the saddle and sat on Mica’s back. He did this a couple of times, and Mica stood very still. Then Rich got on and stayed there. He moved his legs back and forth, and gently put them against Mica’s sides, the way you would ask a horse to move forward, but Mica did not know what that signal meant yet.
He again touched his sides, a bit firmer, then Mica finally took a few steps very hesitantly. Then he started walking more freely around the corral. Rich was using a halter to guide Mica, no bridle, and Mica did not seem bothered by this activity at all. I was so proud of him! After a short ride, Rich got off, and Mica was very relaxed as he took the saddle off. I was delighted by this happily relaxed and uneventful first ride!