not standing still to mount, bucking at canter....more - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-15-2008, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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not standing still to mount, bucking at canter....more

I asked my barn owner that, if I work with her lesson horses that have gotten bad habits, if I could ride some of her horses for free. She agreed, so I'll be starting to work with her horses tomorrow.

No, I'm not a horse trainer, but I do want to be one when I'm out of college. I've worked with trouble horses before and got them better so I do know usually what I'm doing.

There's three horses that she asked me to work with, and I just wanted to get everyone's feed back on how to try and stop their bad habit(s). None of the habits are particually dangerous for me (not like rearing, striking, biting or anything like that)

horse #1 - 16 year old Paint gelding - Murphy: Lately Murphy has gotten the horrible habit of not standing still while the person mounts. You put one foot in the stirrup, and he trots off (not walks off, trots off). Because of this habit, only the experienced lesson kids are allowed to ride him, but the barn owner would like to be able to get rid of that habit. Making him stand facing a wall does NOT work. I've already tried that.
I was thinking on having one person hold him while I mounted, or to put pressure in one stirrup, and if he moves to back him up, and keep doing it. When I'm on him, again he hates to stop and wait. I'll walk him around the arena, and stop him in random places for 5-10 seconds. Then once he stays there for the full time (I start over ono counting if he tries to walk away), then I walk him around. I do that until he stops perfectly everytime, then I repeat the steps in a trot and canter. It works for as long as I'm on his back, but if I get off, or someone else gets on, he goes back into crazy "I'm not going to stop" mode.
Suggestions? Comments?

Horse #2 - 10 year old Paint mare - Star: I've worked with her before and she listens great with me, so I have no worries here nor do I think breaking her habit will take a long time. Once I stopped riding her for lessons (when I bought my horse) another girl has been riding her, and I've noticed that every time the girl asks Star to canter (yes the girl is asking Star to canter the right way), she'll start throwing bucks. Just a few, nothing like a bronco will do...but Star is a little kids lesson horse as well as an adult/teen lesson horse. Most of the little kids when they learn to canter, will learn on Star due to her canter is REALLY smooth, yet she listens well to cues in a canter. So we kinda need to break the bucking habit. I know the really only way is to ride out the bucks and keep asking for a canter until she actually goes into one without a buck, but wanted to know mainly on what everyone thought would have caused her to start bucking. I know it's not a poorly fitted saddle.
Suggestions? Comments?

Horse #3 - 11 Year old Belgian/Appaloosa gelding - Jack: Let's just say that Jack is the laziest horse you will EVER find haha. He's good once you get him going, but getting him going is the hard part. Also he bucks in a canter, and don't know why. How can I get this lazy horse to move his feet? I will keep telling him to trot/canter and won't stop until he does, but was hoping there was an easier way haha.
Suggestions? Comments?


Any thing else I should know? All three horses I've rode before and know, so it's not like they are new horses to me.

Thanks in advance!!!![/b]
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 01:24 AM
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For the first two I would really say it's a pain issue, or they are getting sour from so many riders. But I'd rule out pain first. Have them checked for sore backs, check your saddles again, check your pads, girths, EVERYTHING. Do it again if you just did it. Then I would honestly try riding them both bareback for awhile too see if it really a tack issue. If they ride fine w' no tack, then guess what....it's your tack! If they are still offering up the same problems w' no tack then maybe they are out of alignment? Horse need adjustments just like people :)

SO hard to say with out being there.....sorry.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 05:02 AM
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Murphy: I'd go with circles...small circles. If he's not going to stand still when you ask, then he's gotta go in small circles until he and you can't stand it anymore! Try to mount up real quick and when he starts moving out, immediately circle him over and over. Then ask him to stop and stand. Dismount and mount again. Repeat until he will stand still until you're mounted and ask for a walk. Make sure you (and all other riders) are using a mounting block. Without a block, your toe is probably cuing his side to go forward as well as cranking his saddle uncomfortably off balance. I would not recommend having someone hold his head...he'll only learn to stand still when someone is holding his head then!

Jack: My horse has been getting lazy like this lately (as well as out of shape). I started free lunging him before I ride. I'll ride him at the walk in serpentines to get him warmed up...then hop off, tie up his reins, and free lunge at the trot and canter (both directions). My horse really likes this freedom and it seems to loosen him up and get him spunky. It's also a good time to get him listening to verbal cues which will carry over into undersaddle work.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 04:14 PM
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Re: not standing still to mount, bucking at canter....more

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
horse #1 - 16 year old Paint gelding - Murphy: Lately Murphy has gotten the horrible habit of not standing still while the person mounts. You put one foot in the stirrup, and he trots off (not walks off, trots off). Because of this habit, only the experienced lesson kids are allowed to ride him, but the barn owner would like to be able to get rid of that habit. Making him stand facing a wall does NOT work. I've already tried that.[/b]
If I understood it rightly, this horse used to be standing still when being mounted, but nowadays he trots away. You wrote "only experienced kids" - is this horse used in a public riding school? Our school horses did the same when we let some weighty riders to mount on them alone. The horses hated when a man of 90-100 kgs started to pull the saddle and tried to climb up onto them. They walked or trotted away too. That's why we throw up the heavier riders onto the horses or they mount from any elevation.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 04:19 PM
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Re: not standing still to mount, bucking at canter....more

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyWimps

Horse #2 - 10 year old Paint mare - Star: I've worked with her before and she listens great with me, so I have no worries here nor do I think breaking her habit will take a long time. Once I stopped riding her for lessons (when I bought my horse) another girl has been riding her, and I've noticed that every time the girl asks Star to canter (yes the girl is asking Star to canter the right way), she'll start throwing bucks. Just a few, nothing like a bronco will do...but Star is a little kids lesson horse as well as an adult/teen lesson horse. Most of the little kids when they learn to canter, will learn on Star due to her canter is REALLY smooth, yet she listens well to cues in a canter. So we kinda need to break the bucking habit. I know the really only way is to ride out the bucks and keep asking for a canter until she actually goes into one without a buck, but wanted to know mainly on what everyone thought would have caused her to start bucking. I know it's not a poorly fitted saddle.
Suggestions? Comments?
[/b]
One of my mares does the same. I ride her with shorter reins when asking to canter and I don't let her head down. This way she does not bucking. But if I forget about it and start to canter on long reins, she bucks. I tell everyone riding on her not to let her head down.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 04:32 PM
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Trotting or walking off while being mounted is a very common problem for lesson horses. What we did to teach my horse to stand still is we'd mount and make him stand for five minutes, every time they moved, we'd back them to where they were, or get them there and say STAND! then the clock was restarted. Then instead of walking when we get on we'd back him instead, and back him in a circle or until he is in the opposite direction that we mounted then and ONLY then walk forward. A lot of "not-standing-to-mount" or taking off as soon as you swing on is because the horse assumes that is what is going to happen next is to walk forward as it almost always does so they walk forward as soon as the weight is in the saddle. Horses know what happens, before what happens happens. Mounting happens before the horse walks forward, but before mounting happens the rider swings a leg in the stirrup. Unfortunately, letting the horse walk off, or trot off in your case, enforces the horse that putting weight in the stirrup to mount is the pre-cue to mounting and walking(or trotting ) off after you mount. So make him stand then sidepass, back up anything but move forward, or trot for that matter until he will stand quietly to mount then cue him.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abby
Horses know what happens, before what happens happens.
That's my favorite quote of the day! So true!!


Excellent advice by Abby too.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think Star's bucking is due to pain...for once you are able to correct it, she'll do it fine. We've lunged her with the saddle on and she was fine. I think she's just testing the riders, but I guess I'll find out when I get on her.

As for Murphy. We do use a mounting block when we mount all the horses, unless we're on a trail or the person using the mounting block is taking too long. But I don't think anyone mounts Murphy without a mounting block.

As for Jack....we can't lunge him before cause all it does is makes him more lazy. He has really little "umph" about anything (except his food haha)
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-16-2008, 05:40 PM
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if Jack is food motivated, use it to your advantage. Set up a piece of carrot, or anything else he'll eat around the arena or something. When he goes from point A to point B, he'll get a treat. And then from point B to point C he'll get another treat and so on. After a while, he'll keep wanting to go to places in hopes of a treat.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-17-2008, 11:33 AM
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I kind of have an idea what to do with Jack. This works both on his back and in lunging.
I'd start off doing it lunging, but anyway- what you want to do is let your horse know that what your asking isn't to hard, what I'm suggesting is doing the opposite to what your doing. At the moment the horse thinks "ok, if I start trotting or canter I have to do it for ages, so I don't want to", so you want to get the horse to think "ok, this isn't so hard really" You can do this by getting the horse to start trotting, and if you think he'll stop on his own after one round, you make him stop after 3/4. So what your doing is stopping him before he starts believing that it is soo hard work!
So, remember horses are lazy, end of story. All you want to do is give him kind of easy tasks so he starts enjoying performing them. And after a while you'll have a really willing horse!
You can also apply this when your sitting on him!

I make rope halters, email me at evitastenqvist@hotmail.com if you are interested in a cheap halter!!
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