July 2007: Groundwork
Usually I first put my grandson's 12 inch youth saddle (all of about 12 pounds) on my two-year-olds. Because they've carted around blankets for the last couple of months of each previous winter, usually I don't get much reaction to either blanket or saddle. I only do up the cinch the very minimum at first, just enough to keep the saddle in place. Then I move up to my bigger saddle. All along I use a D-ring snaffle with copper rollers. I don't worry too much if they jaw the bit for awhile, but if they persit, and it starts becoming a habit, I have been known to add a caveson or figure-eight noseband to teach them to keep their mouths closed and quiet. Neither Kate nor Maddie needed this aid.
Here, Kate carries the big saddle for the first time. No fuss, no muss!