I groomed him, picked up his feet, threw the blanket on him and started to pick up the saddle; he bolted. I put down the saddle and lounged him. I attempted two more tries and he finally stood for the saddle. Just then company arrived. I left him loose with the saddle on in the round pen. I don’t believe he bucked it. When I looked back at him he was still standing there. When I greeted my company, he was out of sight. I think I would’ve heard hooves stomping or seen the dust. I don’t believe he bucked. When I got back half an hour later he was calm and I lounged him. I took off the saddle. I called it a day.
Unless I missed out on something when I was away from the pen, he did not buck today. That will be a first. I will continue this process until he’s absolutely calm about everything to do with the saddle. I will be creative about how to make the saddle a little scarier, hoping to squeeze the last buck out of him. I’m not going to ride him until he is absolutely calm with everything to do with the saddle.