nervous of saddle - clicker training

Dec 1, 2008

My horse has had some really bad experiences with badly fitting saddles, and now only has to see one coming near him and his ears go back.

Once it's on, he's fine, but I'd like to help him understand that the saddle he has now isn't going to hurt him anymore.

He is also headshy, and I'm interested in using clicker training to help with getting a bridle on him, although he is much better than when I got him, I'd like him to be happier about everything.

I can see how to use clicker training with the bridle (targeting, head lowering etc), but am struggling to see how to use it with the saddle problems.

Can anyone help with some steps I can use?



New Member
Oct 26, 2008
Hi there.
You could try putting the saddle on a fence or stable door and click when he takes a step towards it, then click for touching it with his nose. This way he will make positive associations with saddle.
Then you could ask him to stand sideways next to saddle (as if he was at a mounting block).
When all that is no problem you could pick up the saddle and click as you take step towards him and he stands calmly. Then progress to actually touch him with it, again, click when he stands calmly, but take saddle away again immediately as an extra reward.
Carry on until he is happy to stand with the saddle on. Do all this lots and lots until it is really easy for him.
Good luck, hope it works out.
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