I need help getting the horse to stand still while mounting - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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I need help getting the horse to stand still while mounting

I just bought a new horse that is extremely difficult to mount. I didn't notice this habit at the sellers place because every time I tried him out she was standing at his head holding the bridle, giving me advice or telling me interesting things about him. Now I understand why she did this. When I try mounting him he dances around and the more I ask him to "whoa" the more agitated he gets. Once I get my foot in the stirrup and am committed to swinging my leg over he feels like he is ready to explode and wants to take off and not at a walk either. If I pull back on the reins as I ask him to whoa he will run backwards. Once I am in the saddle if I try and make him stand still for a couple minutes he will keep trying to race forward and frantically bobs his head up and down. If I don't release the reins and let him go forward he will rear (not high so far but enough to be a little scary). If I let him go a few paces forward and then circle him he calms down and is a perfect gentleman the rest of the ride. He also stands completely still while dismounting. He rides in a hackamore, I ride western and I try to use a mounting block when I can because he is 16+hh and I am very short. I am just getting back into riding after several years absence and am pretty rusty. I need some help to correct this problem please. My husband (not a horse person) is available to help me mount on the wekends but on weekdays I am on my own
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 05:13 AM
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I've been training a horse that's almost the same way. She likes to move her butt away from the mounting block. At first I tried to walk her around the mounting block three times each time she did it. I got sick of it though since I shouldn't be the one having to do the work and it just irritated her.

I would make her do short (30-60 second lunges) every time she tried it. If she even moved her legs a little in the opposite way I would send her out and make her canter/trot in a tight circle, then bring her in. Tried mounting her again, if she moved her feet I would send her out again. I repeated this until she stood quietly for me to mount. It didn't take her long to figure out that standing was much easier.

I would do the same with this horse. When he moves, at all, send him out on the lunge line right after he does it. You may even want to keep a halter under the bridle and keep a lunge line or lead rope on hand. Make him work for a minute or so (hard) and bring him in. Do it until he stands nicely while you get on. It may take awhile but it's worth the effort and he will finally figure it out. When you do manage to get on, make him stand for a long time. I'd say 5 minutes, more or less. You actually may want to take a couple days and just do this. Mount, dismount, lunge, etc. for the whole lesson. Never let him get away with moving his feet, no matter how small the movement.

Best of luck, make sure to give us updates on his progress!


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post #3 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 06:35 AM
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back him up whenever he goes forward without permission and keep doing so untill he stands nicely.

Last edited by christopher; 05-14-2011 at 06:41 AM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseloverd2 View Post
I've been training a horse that's almost the same way. She likes to move her butt away from the mounting block. At first I tried to walk her around the mounting block three times each time she did it. I got sick of it though since I shouldn't be the one having to do the work and it just irritated her.

I would make her do short (30-60 second lunges) every time she tried it. If she even moved her legs a little in the opposite way I would send her out and make her canter/trot in a tight circle, then bring her in. Tried mounting her again, if she moved her feet I would send her out again. I repeated this until she stood quietly for me to mount. It didn't take her long to figure out that standing was much easier.

I would do the same with this horse. When he moves, at all, send him out on the lunge line right after he does it. You may even want to keep a halter under the bridle and keep a lunge line or lead rope on hand. Make him work for a minute or so (hard) and bring him in. Do it until he stands nicely while you get on. It may take awhile but it's worth the effort and he will finally figure it out. When you do manage to get on, make him stand for a long time. I'd say 5 minutes, more or less. You actually may want to take a couple days and just do this. Mount, dismount, lunge, etc. for the whole lesson. Never let him get away with moving his feet, no matter how small the movement.

Best of luck, make sure to give us updates on his progress!

This. Provided you have done some groundwork with this horse and they know what you want. I would not try making this horse go back as the OP already said it will run backward and try to rear. I would be afraid of encouraging the upward motion. Personally, I like forward.

Mine is not allowed to move at all. It has taken time, and riding in a mecate, so that when I was mounting in the beginning, and he moved I had the longer line to grab. It is also important, if possible that you not move from where you are. If they are able to move your feet, they, to some extent have won.

If you are not fairly proficient at groundwork, I would suggest that may help as a good foundation, to get the horses respect.

Good luck

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 09:38 AM
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I don't know if this will work for you since you are using a mouting block, but maybe you can adapt it in some way.

When the horse swings his hip out away from you, put pressure behind the girth and make him disengage his hindquarters quickly working in small circles until you ask him to stop. Try to mount again. If he stands quietly as you begin to mount, praise him. If he starts moving around, disengage his hindquarters some more. Once you are in the saddle, if he starts moving off before you cue him, go back to disengaging his hind end again. Those small circles and leg crossovers are hard work and he will soon learn that if he stands still and waits for a cue from you he won't have to work so hard.

My mare will stand stock still for however long I want until I cue her forward. From day one I have made her do lateral flexions every time I mount her. She knows we don't walk off until we have flexed a few times. Horses like a routine and if you stay consistent you will have a quiet mount every time.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahara View Post
I don't know if this will work for you since you are using a mouting block, but maybe you can adapt it in some way.

When the horse swings his hip out away from you, put pressure behind the girth and make him disengage his hindquarters quickly working in small circles until you ask him to stop. Try to mount again. If he stands quietly as you begin to mount, praise him. If he starts moving around, disengage his hindquarters some more. Once you are in the saddle, if he starts moving off before you cue him, go back to disengaging his hind end again. Those small circles and leg crossovers are hard work and he will soon learn that if he stands still and waits for a cue from you he won't have to work so hard.

My mare will stand stock still for however long I want until I cue her forward. From day one I have made her do lateral flexions every time I mount her. She knows we don't walk off until we have flexed a few times. Horses like a routine and if you stay consistent you will have a quiet mount every time.
Yes, this way works.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks you guys I can't believe how well this stuff works. I went out and saddled my horse this morning and went to mount him and he pulled the same tricks so I took all the great advice here and basically spun him in small circles. I led him back to the mounting block and we tried again .This time he moved a bit and I took him out and did it again then led him back and tried again. This time he stood still until I got on then he walked off I got back off and worked him in circles again. I tried getting on him again and he stood still until I was mounted then I gave him a treat and we moved off . I got on and off him a few more times from several different locations. I can't believe how much of a difference putting him to work did. Thank you guys so much!!!! I have no doubt it will take a few days before he gets the idea completely but we are well on our way. Now Ihave other questions regarding a bit but I will post in the equipment section for that. Thank you again !!!!!
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 09:05 PM
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As well as the excellent advice offered, I would add one more thing. Make mounting and dismounting very very common. Do it ten or fifteen times each time you ride him. Let him start to think that mounting is boring, and a rest time. While boredom is something you try to avoid with horse's training sessions etc, I think it can be a very powerful tool for teaching manners.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 09:16 PM
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^

Super excellent advice. My Paint filly can be a bit of a twiddle bug still, she'll usually stand for me to mount but gets impatient and wants to walk off immediately. I make it a point to dismount while I'm taking pics of my friends just so I can remount and make it something that doesn't JUST happen at the barn. I also try to volunteer for things like setting jumps back up or various other things that require mount and dismount so it becomes a regular occurrence and it works great. Horses are the MASTERS of anticipation and the biggest hurdle sometimes is teaching them to stop anticipating things!

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post #10 of 12 Old 05-14-2011, 09:53 PM
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And he may need an occassional "reminder". Mine does.

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