Just Want a Shoulder to Cry On// Mounting Horses
   

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Just Want a Shoulder to Cry On// Mounting Horses

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        08-20-2010, 04:36 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Just Want a Shoulder to Cry On// Mounting Horses

    Today my youngster flung me off.
    We've been having a lot of issues with mounting. Something has obviously happened in his past where something bad happened to him in this situation.
    I've had a saddle recently fitted, and have even had the cheif vet of my practice to check his back as I panic so much about hurting my baby. He means everything to me.
    We've slowly been getting there, sometimes it takes me 30 minutes to get on. I walk him up to the mounting block, wait for a few minutes. I climb up.. if he moves away we start again.. etc. just taking it really slowly.
    Now he lets me get on, but he obviously has this anxiety pent up inside of him, that today, as soon as my bum hit the saddle he went CRAZY.
    (He's really not that type of horse AT ALL, and I'm thinking that this is psychologically a very big thing for him, as I swear NOTHING else fazes him)
    We were on the yard, and he galloped as soon as I got him. I had no reins or stirrups (if you hold his reins he moves) and as he dodged something I just popped off the side. I was expecting it, as I wasn't planning on staying on! It hit the floor hard. Landing straight on my coccyx on hard concrete wasn't fun. I've really hurt my back and neck too.
    Anyway, enough of 'woe is me'! I've posted a thread for a shoulder to cry on basically.
    Can I have some of your experiences regarding horses with mounting? How can I fix this big psychological problem for him?
    We have a very strong bond, so this has really knocked my confidence with him, not as a rider.
         
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        08-20-2010, 04:52 PM
      #2
    Foal
    I don't have any advice for you (though I'm sure others will!) but wanted to send a hug your way! I fell off of my mare last night and had a long night at the ER (catscan for my neck/back). Everything is fine, but I know how it feels to be a little shaken up (and sore!).

    I hope you feel better soon and that you're able to find a fix for your boy!
         
        08-20-2010, 04:53 PM
      #3
    Showing
    How old is he? If he's young, I doubt seriously that he has some deep, dark psychological issue concerning the mounting block.

    If you're not being confident with him, you're telling him that it's okay for him to act squirelly around the mounting block.

    Are you timid? Fearful? Hesitant when you walk him up to the block? If so, you're the one who's made it out to be a monster in his mind.

    If you want a horse to take something in stride, you as his rider need to not make a big deal out of it. Taking 30 minutes to get him over to the block is making a big deal out of it.

    My gray Arab has a tremendous spook when he sees something he thinks is scary. You know what I do? I ride him past it time and again, and don't look at it myself or make a big deal of riding past it. I just insist that he continue to go past that spot and that object without being a lunatic. He eventually realizes that it really isn't some horrible horse-eating monster, and forgets about it.

    Horses take their cues from their riders. I have a feeling he's feeding off the anxiety that you're producing.

    Do you have an instructor? You may need to hire one if you don't, because confidence issues rarely resolve on their own without professional help.
         
        08-20-2010, 04:57 PM
      #4
    Showing
    My biggest piece of advice is never get on a horse if you don't have a hold on the reins. They are your emergency brake for instances just like that. If he won't stand if you hold the reins, then work with him until he will. When you get him to the mounting block and act as if you are going to get on and he moves, work his ass off, right then. Lunge him, reverse directions, back him up, get him to sidepass down the fence, etc. Anything to make him work and then immediately walk him back to the block and stand on it beside him. Let him rest next to the block and anytime he moves his feet after you have told him to 'whoa', then work him again. Keep doing that and every day, get a little closer to mounting him. He will soon begin to associate the mounting block with you standing on it is a good place to be where he can rest and will be more comfortable there.
         
        08-20-2010, 05:04 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Right. No, I personally do not feel any anxiety getting on him at all.
    When I get to the mounting block, he's fine, but as soon as I stand on the mounting block to get on him, and moves away from it so that I can't get on it.
    So when it took me a long time to get on him, it was through me persuading him to stand still, as me getting on him is not painful. This has been working, and I've been able to get on him no problem recently.

    Just because a horse isn't young, doesn't mean they can't have psychological or confidence issues with something that have upset them in the past. My friend has a 4 year old that she bought and you couldn't touch him. This was due to severe psychological issues.
         
        08-20-2010, 05:10 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by smrobs    
    My biggest piece of advice is never get on a horse if you don't have a hold on the reins. They are your emergency brake for instances just like that. If he won't stand if you hold the reins, then work with him until he will. When you get him to the mounting block and act as if you are going to get on and he moves, work his ass off, right then. Lunge him, reverse directions, back him up, get him to sidepass down the fence, etc. Anything to make him work and then immediately walk him back to the block and stand on it beside him. Let him rest next to the block and anytime he moves his feet after you have told him to 'whoa', then work him again. Keep doing that and every day, get a little closer to mounting him. He will soon begin to associate the mounting block with you standing on it is a good place to be where he can rest and will be more comfortable there.
    Yup, definitely learnt that lesson! Although not sure I could have stopped him even if I did try!
    Thanks for the idea! I was going to do something similar. We're doing a bit of natural horsemanship, and I was going to intergrate the mounting block into our training (like you have mentioned).
         
        08-20-2010, 07:57 PM
      #7
    Green Broke
    Well my experience isn't quite like yours but I had mounting problems for a long time. I couldn't mount my horse and she is onlu 14.2 hands.It seriously took my months untill I could get on. It was truely embarassing because I would see little kids and adults mount effortlessly.I use to be so embarassed that I would go away to an area where no one could see me because I didn't want them to make fun of me. I boarded at the fairgrounds and people were always there. I WOULD always tip the saddle and my poor horse would be uncomfortable if not in pain.

    My now husband would help me and so would an ex friend. They wouldn't laugh at me even though I am sure they didn't understand how I could not get on a horse that is almost a pony( she has no withers so it makes it a bit harder).


    I now can mount any horse but sometimes have my days where I need help(legs get tired after dismounting and mounting). I still have to do my count down 1,2,3 JUMP! I have made progress by far. I couldn't mount without using the horn but now I just hold onto the cantle and my horse's neck.


    Things will get better. Sounds like maybe someone hurt him in the past. He is obviously trying to please you because he is letting you get on even though his anxiety sometimes is through the roof.
    Defiently always have the reins in hand at all times..I'm guilty of not holding them sometimes but all my horse does is stand there....always!
    Can you get on him bareback? Is he okay when you saddle him up or does he begin to get nervous?
         
        08-20-2010, 08:59 PM
      #8
    Banned
    If he is young, do you lunge before riding? I know it isnt very popular but sometimes, its necessary. It might help him loosen up a bit before you get on his back.

    Is he exceedingly tall? Is there a reason for the mounting block? I know that some people must use them and that others prefer to use them for saddle slipping/damage reasons. If there is no real reason why...why not start trying him from the ground. Maybe its the block itself he is afraid of.

    Once you do master the mount...try backing him up a few steps IMMEDIATLY after you get on. After a few sessions they learn the routine has changed from get on and giddyup! To get on, step back and wait.

    I am on the boat of you have to make sure you have those reins. If nothing else, you would have something to hang on to if your horse is wheeling around the stable. Even if you couldnt get him stopped, you may have been able to steer him. Even just a little. Right now, he is dictating the way you ride him. I don't like it when horses do that! I say how and when to ride...he does it. Anything else falls into the catagory of disrespect for me.

    Sorry that you got hurt. Horses are unpredictable little buggers eh?!
         
        08-20-2010, 09:32 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    I have a young mare who was horrible at standing when I went to mount her. She just has no patience & wants to move off as soon as she's got the bridle on lol. If I hold onto the reins, she will not stand still (she either backs up or turns in circles). What I've found works with her, is to leave the halter on underneath the bridle. If I hold the halter rope she stands perfectly & doesn't move a muscle.
    We've been doing this since I got her 3 months ago & I can now get on her without the halter/holding her, though every now & then she'll try it lol. She's learning, though.
    As for the mounting block, it could just freak him out seeing you up above him like that all of a sudden. Try stepping on & off it repeatedly until he settles down & relaxes (it will be a great workout for you too! Lol!)
    You could also try putting him between the mounting block & a fence ( if moving sideway & away from you is an issue) & get him to where he stands nicely there before mounting him. He'll get there, no worries! ;)
         
        08-20-2010, 10:25 PM
      #10
    Trained
    I will tell you what our trainer does, and also say it has worked, eventually, on every horse. Get on the mounting block, like you are going to mount. If the horse moves, grab a rein, and MAKE them move. They walk around the block until they stop. Try again to get on...they move, same drill. This may take a while (I tell you this man has the patience of a saint!) but it works. AND , he always mounts with one rein shorter, just in case you need it, to turn them, and makes them stand there while you futzy fart around until you tell them to move. Once on-they move, you move them back.
    THis may take you a while, but really works.
         

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