You know.... 99.9 percent of the time. The horses have the same anxiety we do when we have the first ride. Please, give that a moment to sink in.
Think about stepping onto a horse you don't know and you know NOTHING about them. I do it ALL the time... they may be broke, they may decide to buck you off. They may be absolutely awesome! Are you going to get hurt? Are you going to meet a kind soul? Are you going to meet your new best friend? They may flip over and crush you... Are you there with me, now? Get the phone ready to dial 911!?
That is the exact same anxietly MOST of these horses feel.... Can you blame them? Please, for a moment, put yourself in their hooves. After all, many people just sit up there, in the saddle, like entitled jerks and bark orders, yanking on their mouth, giving them obscure orders that you can't find the meaning with a map and a flashlight.... It's been months or years since the last ride and people expect for them to NOT be an animal with a brain of their own. I'm sorry, but that is not realistic.
So, the introduction... Yeah, it's a time for them to realize that there is life beyond abuse, or laziness.
How do we start? Well, we start with the basics. We put in a basic, soft bit, with soft hands. Long story short, we become "Mom".... I am Mom... my girls are my pride and joy. I have girls that have manners, morals and a sense of responsibility. Guess what, that is what I ask for from my horses. I ask for simple tasks and I expect for them to respect very specific boundaries. What are those boundaries? Let me tell you.
1. Stand tied quietly
2. Lead quietly