Had a real good session with Ceasar yesterday. I have learned to start slow and go slow with him as calm, cool and relaxed as possible. He was right with me from the beginning, which is real good. I put the halter on and played with him a bit, didn't even have him real worked up lungeing or anything like that. Just disengagements and moving the shoulders, back up, all real gentle and soft. I tested him around the girth with the lead line, then got my lariat out and worked that over him. All was still real relaxed. Then I put the lariat around his girth and flanked him out. He rung his tail once or twice but then settled down nicely. I was leading him by the girth, putting as much pressure as I possibly could on that girth. I repeated the process at his flank and then the belly. Each time just wanting him to find the rest by yielding to the pressure. He did real good. All was relaxed with him. Then I put the pad and saddle on and he stood for that ok. After I got the saddle on him I didn't want to just send him off, so I did some real soft disengagements and then sent him off at first next to me then a little farther. He did get tied up in knots wanting to go fast, but I just shut him down and kept working at it from both directions until he would move off at a walk. He tried to buck some, but I shut him down and made him go back into a walk each time. What I found really worked good was to move him sideways down the rail. So everytime he started to get knotted up, I just moved him sideways. This made it hard for him to move in the way he wanted and helped to change his mind. When he did I asked him to go forward at a walk. If he busted up again we just repeated the process. It worked pretty good. When he was doing this pretty good I got on him and just worked on getting him real soft. We had about 15 minutes of this and boy was he doing good. We worked on stopping and backing with softness as well as moving off with softness.
I should note too that as I was checking him out at the beginning of the session, I was looking over his withers and running my hand over them and about the 13th or 14 vertebrated he is out pretty good. So I rubbed this and rubbed this until he stopped swishing his tail and twitching. I did this several times. I didn't want to put the saddle on when I knew he may have been hurting right where the saddle sits. Anyway it all worked out real good. It is just those little things that might be effecting how he handles the pressure of the saddle.
Great session all in all.