>The horse in question has an extremely well-fitting saddle and high-tech foam
>back pads to boot. The very second I pick up the girth to even begin to hook
>the buckles (loosly) he pulls back and rears. I don't even get a chance to
>pull it tight quickly. And he is such a big lug that one has to get the hell
>outta the way or get killed. Any dicipline suggestions?
He needs to rebuild his trust. This is not a rebellion
or limit testing usually, it is a reaction to pain
and surprise. Somebody pulled it tight quickly and
he is afraid you will too.
Start with a surcingle, carrots and lots of patience.
And don't tie him. Get him standing respectfully
first, using gentle consistent reminders when he
moves. That may take a few days. Then work
the surcingle over him, backing off when he gets
tense, to reassure him that you are not going to
do the thing he fears.
Then put the saddle on and don't try to girth up.
If he won't let you reach for the girth, rub
a leadrope all around and under the belly. When
you can, reach for the girth then drop it. Pull
it under his belly then let it go again.
When you finally work him up to letting you
tighten it, you have to keep his trust --
don't tighten much when you first saddle
and never tighten quickly, or you will prove to
to him he was right. Those darn humans do
sneak up and hurt you.
I would not hurry this retraining. Once
he gets it (and if you continue to be considerate
saddling him) he will be a lot nicer to be
Good luck and let us know how it goes!