With Kris and Rio, we started with saddling, in the barn aisle. Rio was quite reactive and decided to buckle his knees and go down. I had put the Barefoot treeless on him and I guess it felt more rigid than the Bob Marshall. I also may have started with the cinch too tight. I loosened it and he was able to walk off.
I played with him on the ground for a bit, then Kris did. He got used to the saddle after about 10 minutes and got his thinking brain back. He has some serious baggage with saddles, poor guy.
I had Kris do a passenger lesson at the trot and this was so good for both of them. Rio and kris both relaxed into this and I saw some great changes occur. I introduced the idea of bending Rio to get a softer feel from him (snakey bends, sort of). This helped Rio engage his back and lower his head. Afterwards, we went outside the arena and rode in the grassy area by the barn. This was Kris' first time riding Rio outside the arena and it was huge!! She and her horse have made such positive changes and I'm ecstatic to see the progression.