Yesterday I had a bit of a scare with Ben. Nothing bad happened- we're both fine. But something bad could've happened. And Ben saved us.
Our play time started as usual- grooming and tacking up. Ben was great for all that. Side note: he's finally shedding a bit more! YAY
I grabbed a girth I do not usually use because the one I most often use was still wet from the previous use. It is a nice girth, and fit Ben, and he didn't object at all.
So we went on with our business- rather than use the sliding side reins, I tried the normal side reins with donuts. I had a sneaking suspicion that the sliding reins were confusing. I think I was right, because Ben responded really well to the regular ones- and even gave me the most fantastic lifted, floaty trot- I was in awe of it.
Then came riding time. Ben stood very still for me to get on, but when I got on, he started to get very fussy. I started to feel like I was sitting on an awkward ball. Ben wasn't happy about something, he was frustrated, maybe even being naughty, and I could feel the situation was going escalate to something bad.
So I managed to get him to halt, he was fussy even for that, and I hopped off. I immediately started doing in hand schooling- to see if he needed to vent some sort of frustration. he didn't. Hmm. So I brought him back to the mounting block and he started fussing again.
I put my leg in the stirrup iron, and went to mount up, and it happened: my saddle slid completely around on him. He didn't budge- no spooking or anything. I've had that happen 1 time before and it did not end well, for me.
Needless to say, I was a little shocked. I undid the girth, re-positioned the saddle, and girthed up again. I did the girth up slowly, and got to the point where it was in theory tightened enough- and i physically could not tighten it anymore anyway.
I went to get on, Ben fidgeted, and it slipped again.
Ben was trying to tell me something was wrong. And something was wrong- that saddle was unstable, and unsafe. It was worrying him, rightly so.
So, the moral of the story: Listen to your horse.