My horse won't stand still for me - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New York
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My horse won't stand still for me

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on making
your horse stand still to mount.He is a bit head strong
but this has become a real problem.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 01:58 PM
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Is there any way of getting someone to hold him while you mount until he gets the idea of standing still?
Some horses just want to be getting on with the job and the more you mess around mounting the worse they get - thats no excuse for bad behaviour though
Have you tried having him facing close up to a fence or solid barrier of some sort preferably in a corner so he cant move forwards until you are mounted and then have to turn left or right to proceed when you tell him too?
When he gets it right be sure to praise him at this stage because its a learning thing so he needs to know he's done good.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 02:00 PM
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How are you currently mounting and what do you do when he does not hold still? You mention that he is "head strong" - does this come through in other behaviors he displays towards you, especially on the ground?
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 02:23 PM
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Is there a change you are putting your toe into his side as you try to mount up? I had that problem for a while and my horse would move while I tried to get on her because of that. My solution was to move closer to her hindquarters to make sure my toe wasn't facing her belly when I got on.

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 03:21 PM
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Do make sure you aren't knocking into him at all while you're mounting, just to make sure you aren't popping his side. Besides that, I tell my horse to stand infront of the block, of they decide to move I tell them whoa, and slightly pull back in the reins. Then I walk them around the block again and if the walk after I tell the who I pop them in the mouth. After a few times if doing this my mare seemed to get the idea. Or, you could try smacking their chest with a crop if they walk on, that is a more front in approach.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New York
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My sister could hold him while I get on.I haven't tried
putting him where he can't move around so much,I'll
try that when I ride him tomorrow.I might be knocking
him with my foot,I'm not sure.I have tried smacking him
on the nose for it goingnowhere1,but it bothers me to
smack him.He doesn't seem to mind which side I mount
on.In answer to your question themacpack,I usually tell
him whoa then make him look at me and tell him no.If you
apply any pressure at all when your leading him,he throws
his head up.Is this normal behavior? Thanks so much for
the advice!!!
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 08:00 PM
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When you are leading him around, do you mean with a bit or halter or lead?
Either way he is evading the pressure.

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 08:14 PM
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It shouldn't bother you to smack him, he's showing you that he's dominant by not listening to your halts. When you smack him it's like when a herd leader nips another horse when they mess with them. Be aggressive. I don't mean punch the horse, but a firm 20lb smack will NOT hurt a full grown horse.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-05-2012, 10:25 PM
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My old saddle horse was really bad for walking off as I was mounting. I let him get away with it for years because I could easily mount even if he started walking before my right foot left the ground. But at some point it just became silly.

I was following Larry Trocha's stuff for a while. I don't like all his training methods, but his technique for correcting a horse that won't stand really worked for my old guy. Basically, if the horse starts to walk off before you even start to mount, you make him back up.

Now, with my colts, I make them stand and wait for at least 20 seconds or so after I've mounted. If they try to walk off, I back them up a little. It's working really well. Should be common sense, really, but we all get into bad habits.

Here's a link to the Trocha video.

Lone Star Ranch: Teach your horse to stand still while mounting.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-06-2012, 09:18 AM
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First of all -- Welcome to the Horse Forum.

Really simple fix. Teach him that "Whoa!" mean whoa. Then, when you finally get him to stand like his feet are nailed down, always stand still for 10 seconds or more and never let him walk off until you squeeze your legs and ask him to. I usually either back a horse up, turn it sharply to the right or flex its head a time or two without letting its feet move and THEN ask one walk forward.

I teach "Whoa!" by facing the horse, saying the word and jerking the lead-rope when he moves. I can teach almost any horse in 10 or 15 minutes. I prefer to do this out in the open away from any barrier or obstacle. I don't want a crutch -- I want obedience.

One does not have to jerk most horses very hard. Any small jerk on the lead-rope is irritating and the total relief that come from me NOT jerking the rope is the only reward he needs.

After the horse learns that Whoa means whoa when I am facing it, I start moving all around the horse, still expecting it to stand perfectly still. I do not allow a single foot to move. I want a horse to let me brush his tail, pick up his feet, groom him all over, throw a saddle on him, etc, without moving a foot that I do not ask him to move.

Then, when he is saddled and ready to mount, he more than likely will stand. If he doesn't, I step back, say the magic word and jerk that lead-rope. Then, I place a foot in the stirrup again. I just repeat this until he decides he must stand still when I say "Whoa!". Of course, I have already taught him to stand still at any other time.

I want him to stand even if he gets poked in the ribs. I want him to stand if an inept wanna-be rider wants to mount. I want him to stand out in the pasture a mile from home or out on the trail. I want him to stand if his rider needs a mounting step, tree stump, a fence or a trailer fender to get on. It is just part of having a 'broke horse' with good manners -- an important part.

Now, if a person is always jerking and pulling around on a horse in a meaningless way, a jerk on the lead-rope is not going to mean much. For anything to work, a handler or rider needs to be 100% consistent. "Whoa!" cannot mean 'slow down' or 'do nothing' part of the time and mean 'stand perfectly still' the next.

Again -- remember -- the worst behavior you accept at any time is the best behavior you have any right to expect.
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