Mare Walks Off After Mounting - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Mare Walks Off After Mounting


I was wondering if anyone has some training tips to correct my mare when she walks off after mounting, instead of waiting for the cue to go forward.

As soon as my butt is in the saddle, she walks off, before I even have 2 feet in the stirrups. I can get her to stop, but only after she has walked off a few steps. I would really like her to learn that we don't go until I say.

Thank you in advance :)
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 01:34 PM
Green Broke
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Just take it slow & one step at a time. Make sure she's standing calmly (not ready to walk off right away) before you get ready to mount. You can also try facing her at a wall/fence or putting her in a corner before mounting.
Be sure she remains calm & quiet while you put one foot in the stirrup. If she starts to look like she's going to want to walk off, stop her & wait again.
Once you've got one foot in, lift youself up & just stand in the stirrup (again, if she looks like she wants to walk off, start over).
Eventually bring your leg over the saddle slowly & sit down. Make her stand for a bit until you're sure she's calm, then put your foot in & ask her to move off.
It's all about patience. Even if you just make her stand for a while once you're in the saddle, she wont assume that by your butt hitting the seat that she should start walking off because after all, that's what you're going to do next anyway in her mind.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 02:56 PM
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There are a few methods. Many people swear by the treat method, and it IS effective, although I don't personally like my horse swinging her head around to ask for a treat constantly. This one is rather obvious, simply mount and then offer her a treat for standing. Gradually they learn to ask for the treat instead of walking off.

My filly decided she didn't want to stand, so we simply worked on mounting and and the commands STAND and WHOA. She would take a step as soon as I put my foot in the stirrup, I would stop and back her up. Any time she moved from where I wanted her, I would stop the mount, put her back where she was, tell her to stand and begin the process all over again. Once we reached the point where she would stand for mounting, but began walking off before asked, I would flex her nose to my knee and let her spin. I would ask for a whoa and a stand, release the pressure and if she stood, she was rewarded with a pat and immediately asking her to move forward. If she chose to still move, we would immediately begin spinning again.

It didn't take long for her to realize it was a LOT more work then simply standing still until I asked her to move out. She occasionally forgets, but a few refresher courses and she's back to standing stock still for me to mount!

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 03:00 PM
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If she's just walking off a few steps, she may not be square when you get on. If that's the case she's stepping forward to keep her balance. Make sure she has her feet placed square and solid when you mount.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 03:32 PM
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I have this problem randomly with Annalie. Before I can get my other foot in the stirrup she is already walking. When she does it I turn her in about five tight circles. She doesn't do it nearly as much as when I first got her.

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 03:45 PM
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Similar to what macabremikolaj has said what I have found that works for an impatient horse when mounting, is to do the following:

This works best with split reins, stand to the side of the horse as if you were going to mount. Make sure they are standing still, place one foot in the stirrup and pause. If she starts to walk off, quickly take your foot out of the stirrup, (draw attention to the fact they did something wrong) have the outside rein laying across the saddle horn and simply back her up two steps. Then repeat the process, teaching her that if she tries to move out there is an imaginary wall that she is going to have to back up to avoid. Do this until she learns to stand for the mount. Then you as a rider needs to make sure that once you are mounted to consciously wait 30 seconds before cueing your horse to ride out. If she becomes impatient and takes a step, reinforce what you did on the ground in the saddle, back her up two steps. I am not saying you do this but if everytime you get in the saddle you immediately ride out, your horse catches on and will anticipate this. Instead teach them the opposite, that they don't move until told through you. Hope that makes sense, I have yet to have this method not work for a horse. And am constantly surprised at how many horses have this issue, you are not alone.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 03:58 PM
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 04:14 PM
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Face a wall or gate and use the verbal "stand". After a while take her off the solid object and into an open area.

Make sure you are not poking her with your toe as you are mounting and actually telling her to move forward. Also be sure to *light* up into the saddle. She may be moving off to get away from the *plop*.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 04:16 PM
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Heres a preventative for you. When you get on her, immediatly ask her to step back 4-5 steps. She is just anticipating that you get on, then you move. Change her way of thinking. You get on, you move back. Change it up on her every other time you ride and soon, she will wait for the cue instead of trying to anticipate.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 05:14 PM
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I use the methods like MM and Cori mentioned. If they decide they want to walk off when I am mounting, then I will either turn them in small circles for a minute or make them back up several steps. Both work pretty well. Also, while you do need to be light into the saddle, like mls mentioned, I make it a point to be busy when I first get on. I get on, I'll change my seat a couple of times, wiggle my feet around, re-adjust my leg position, lean to one side or the other, etc, etc. If they move off during any of this, I will either circle them or back them up and start over. After that, I make sure that I give a very clear cue for forward. That will also help to keep the horse from confusing a small re-adjustment of your leg with a cue for forward.

Last edited by smrobs; 11-12-2010 at 05:16 PM.
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