First, Sharif is fine now, just so no one develops colic while reading my sad stupid story.
Sunday seemed like a good day to saddle up and do a little introductory spring stroll in the field. No pressure, just to get him thinking about maybe riding with me like other people do on a nice day. I had started our Spring Wake Up Call a couple of weeks ago and had a few little jiggy rides on him, but issues with my dog came up, and so Sharif was on the back burner till I got that girl ironed out. So what could go wrong? I expected him to be a bit jiggy, and I was prepared with all my tricks to divert his attention, and just get him used to the idea that he's not in charge. Saddling up went pretty well, mounting, no problem, okay he was prepared to be a bit naughty, but I thought I had it in hand. He was going to have to walk nicely, headed off breaking into wild trot, aborted a few bucky attempts, distracted him from even thinking of a rear. Then while trying to reset him during a tricky patch I suddenly noticed the saddle was rolling. Shoot it was fine when I got on, but the guy puffs up and I usually have to readjust after riding ten or so minutes. If he's just being stupid and the saddles snug,or if he's fine, but the girth is loose, we have options. Both problems at once, I knew I was in trouble,so I quickly hopped off, and figured I could tighten from the ground, and whammo, he lost it. For a brief two seconds, I still had the reins, but he was obviously ready to explode. I didn't really feel like being dragged across the field with a panicked horse, so I stupidly let the reins go in a split second decision. He bolted back to the house which of course made the saddle slip totally around. Fortunately he stopped at the house, but by this time he was totally panicked and had bashed up his legs with the irons, not bleeding too badly but he must have had a ton of bruises. I didn't take the saddle off immediately, just slipped it back up on his back, I didn't want him thinking Mommy takes away the Evil Saddle just because he freaks out. After a couple of minutes of walking, I took it off, he was still pretty scared, but I kept a close eye on him and with about an hour he gradually seemed to have calmed down. Okay, just another little bump in our training, cuts and bruises heal, right?
Then the bum, after apparently being fine, suddenly started puffing like an engine and wanted to lay down at my feet.
He never just lays down at my feet, and definitely not when he's upset. Oh, sh*t I thought, he's going to colick right here and now. I called the vet, fortunately my favorite, who happens to live nearby, was available and came over pronto( you gotta be a little bit lucky even on a bad day). Yup, no bowel sounds, pulse way up, and Sharif was getting nervous all over again, all his muscles hard as a rock. A nice shot of long acting tranquilizer and inflammatory from Doctor FeelGood, and things were starting to improve. I think since we got to it quickly is the only reason I didn't have an extremely ill horse. I just feel really really lucky, and extremely relieved.
I think we are just going to do long walks, and a little lunging, with the Evil Saddle on, and lots of mount, dismount, till I think this guy is ready for riding, and more girth tightening/walking before I get on. Obviously I was moving too fast for him, I had even done a several scenarios with him like mounting, saddle slips, Haha , no problem,before this happened,and he was pretty good, but that wasn't good enough. And I have sewn a tacky no slip lining on the bottom of my saddle pad, I'm not sure just a breastplate or crupper would be enough. The guy is built like a barrel. I didn't nickname him Teflon Don for nothing.
Commentors feel free to call me an idiot, but since I already know that, if you have constructive suggestions, that might be more helpful.