Rima has been doing well in her circle work in both directions, so I introduced the saddle. She stood well for saddling, but once on the circle experimented with every trick in the book to get rid of it. She finally realized it was just part of the job to carry the saddle and hasn’t tried anything to get rid of it since.
After the first saddling session I walked up to rub her on the head, turned around to walk away and she bit me on the arm. I didn’t react, as she caught me by surprise and my timing would have been off. Instead I returned to her side, talked to her for a bit, slapped the stirrups on the saddle a bit (below), asked her to disengage her hindquarters a few times, and then walked away again.
She didn’t try to bite a second time. She also attempted to bite once while having her feet handled and will threaten with her mouth when having the halter removed after work. She is getting better about that. It’s a rather strange habit, but she’s a smart horse and I enjoy working with her and I think we’ll work through it.
(Previous update on Rima here.)