If saddling your young horse is rushed, if your horse is tied or in the box when you saddle him, he doesn’t have a chance to tell you that he doesn’t want it.
If your horse says NO to saddling, he will have to say an even bigger NO to the riding that will happen later, simply because you didn’t listen to the subtle communication happening before. People wonder so often why horses back, bolt or are so unbelievably tensed during the first rides.
From my experience, this happens because horses feel trapped, not seen and not heard. And for communicating this in a subtle way, they are so often disciplined and/or told off.
Whenever a young horse says NO to something there is a reason for that. Many times this reason seems not visible on the given day (especially if the rider is tensed, excited or simply scared about the possibility of riding the green horse), but it always is there.
I believe that riding starts with saddling, and if we do not have a big YES from the horse’s side, advancing and tying to actually ride is just a waste of time. In the best case, your young horse will only learn that he is not listened to, so it’s better to stay quiet and try to “make it through” the ride.
How can you later expect a willing and engaged Grand Prix dressage partner, if the cooperation starts like that?