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ESI Q and A Forums > ESI Q and A Forum > Questions and discussions for the ESI Q and A Forum > How do I reintroduce him to the saddle succesfully?

How do I reintroduce him to the saddle succesfully?
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Joined: Sat Sep 22nd, 2007
Posts: 256
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 Posted: Fri Dec 7th, 2007 07:57 pm
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If you recall Dr Deb, and other forum members, I had a post about Julian, my TB with 'kissing spine' and other physical issues.

I am pleased to report that through the information on this forum, Dr Deb's writings and the books by the Dorrance brothers that Julian is coming around in our ground work.

I have started him at square one and am doing my best to address his physical needs (through straightness) and his emotional needs.

He is not yet ready for saddle work but I thought there may be some specific prepation I could be doing now so he will willingly accept the saddle.

Because of my lack of understanding of straightness and respecting his "ok-ness" and helping him to be ok if he wasn't, he had become a very brace-y horse.

I have been using some exercises in Bill Dorrance's book (leading up real free, for one) and his bracing is very very obvious...though it improves daily.

His bracing, crookedness and other things i am sure, caused him to feel pain that I guess he now connects to the saddle.

So now if I even approach him with a saddle pad, bareback pad or saddle he pins his ears and snaps out to bite. Sometimes he even connects!

He doesn't even like a towel over his back.

Interestingly he does not mind being blanketed.

I do not feel at this time there is a physcial reason for this. I really feel this is a mental/emotional issue...though I am open to suggestions to consider if this idea seems wrong.

I did just receive my birdie book today. If the answer is found in there I will patiently await for it arrive through the pages.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions you can offer to ensure this is a positive and progressive experience for Julian.


Joined: Mon Apr 30th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
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 Posted: Fri Dec 7th, 2007 11:49 pm
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Hi Leah!
Have you read the 'Restarting a Horse After Several Years' thread?
All the best,


Joined: Sat Sep 22nd, 2007
Posts: 256
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Sat Dec 8th, 2007 05:50 pm
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Thank you Manu-

I did read that thread but my 'focus' was very narrow on the physical restarting. I will go back and read it again for its FULL content! :-)

And as luck would have it, I AM finding many answers in the biridie book (or at this point I should say potential answers as I have not put into action all of the wonderful information).

This book has given me SO much to think about! I could not stop reading last night and woke up early this morning with all of the concepts whirling around in my head.

I will progress using the birdie information and the information in the thread you suggested and should I have additional questions I will be back.

In the meantime I am so excited to put into action a new understanding of developing my relationship with my horses!


Sorry for SO many questions lately. I think I am just very enthusiastic. I have always been an eager learner but my worry of making mistakes often leads me to asking questions due to my uncertainty rather than trying without worrying about making mistakes.

I now realize that mistakes will be made but so long as my intentions are good, my attempts continue to improve and I keep reading and learning that I should not be SO concerned.

Best to all...

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