Started to move back when mounting from block - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Red face Started to move back when mounting from block

Hello, new member & new horse owner on board. We've been together since April and until last week had no issues with mounting. Just started moving back on me last 3 rides when I go to mount from the stool. I will do the logical and check him over for any pain or back pain issues to resolve that factor first. Would like advice on how best to correct if this is not health related. What I have done is move him forward to the stool and tell him to stand but he will do it again. We continue until I can mount, takes about 4 times, but he is definitely not behaving as he was and I am not certain if I am doing the right correction. Thx
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-17-2012, 11:51 AM
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First, I'd give him a refresher course on his "Whoa" and on ground tying. Then introduce the stool again once he's standing ground tied pretty reliably.

Until then, just keep walking him back up to the stool and/or ask someone to stand on his off side and hold him while you mount. If you have to do it alone, you can pull the left rein shorter and keep his head toward you, so that if he moves when your foot is in the stirrup he can only go in a circle.

I think the key (assuming he physically checks out ok) is to mount and then make him stand until YOU say it's time to move off. At home, if I have one being troublesome, I put them in a corner so that they are facing a wall, their right side is next to a wall and the mounting block is 'holding' them in place on the left side. Then I get up and on and just sit there. If one is particularly antsy, I've been known to take a magazine or small book up there and just sit and read til they quit. Then I BACK them out of there and we turn and walk off. It doesn't take too many times of that before they get it.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 11:10 AM
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You say that you're a new horse owner. Are you actually capable of checking for pain-related issues? Even experienced horse people have issues checking for saddle fit. It really does take some research and time to know when a saddle is fitting properly or not. Just make sure you're actually ruling out pain, and not just missing something and assuming her legs/saddle/bridle are fine. :)
Anywho, what bit do you use? I don't recommend a loosering for most people. They're hard to fit (a 5" horse needs a 5 1/2" or bigger to make sure the rings can't touch the mouth and pinch), and they need to be fitted higher up to ensure that the bit can't slide and cause pinching that way either (which puts excess pressure on both the poll and corners of the mouth, eventually deadening those areas to pressure).
Now, it could be you that's the problem, not her. Do you put your foot in the stirrup to mount? You could be hurting her back and twisting the saddle.
Do you land heavy in the saddle? Horses really seem to dislike that.
You should really just be putting a leg over and sliding on. No reason to jump or swing up. Find something higher to stand on if you need to.
Do you shorten the reins before you get on? Horses really dislike that. It tends to tighten their back and neck and makes them more nervous than they otherwise would be.
Drop the reins. Just hold them as loosely as possible. What's she going to do? Move away? Oh no, how ever will you catch her??? :)
Stand next to her on the block for awhile. Then try and put your leg up and rest it on the saddle. Then put your leg back down. Then put it up. And then down. Eventually ease your way on. Once you're on, do not pick up the reins or attempt to pick up your stirrups. Once you sit there for awhile, then procede onto your ride.
If at any point she starts to move away, calmly hold one rein and let her circle the block however long she needs to until she stops. Then start again and circle her if need be.
If she takes a step when you get on her, instantly dismount and start again. Do not bother using the reins to stop her.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the assistance friends, I will definitely try the lighter method of sliding into the saddle, leg over, instead of using the stirrup and landing in. We definitely need to be doing lots of groundwork, that I'm aware of. Of course I'm not qualified to fully assess pain but I am following the information supplied in the book 'where does my horse hurt' for that guidance. I'm also scheduled to take a course in equine health very shortly. The point about saddle fit is very valid, been using saddles at the school to date (which is also where I've had this mounting problem and no assist from the instructors arghh!) and now he's home I'm going to have to get him his own. I have a new coach starting with me soon on our turf so I'm looking forward to the new venture being more positive. My gelding is currently in a med port med curb bit, let me know about that if we should make a change.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-18-2012, 09:14 PM
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My horse used to be awful about backing up when I tried to mount. To solve it, I got in front of him and backed him up a LOT. Then we'd go back to the mounting block. If he moved again he got another big back up session. Now he stands perfectly still for me.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-19-2012, 10:30 AM
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You may be toeing horse. You may also have been moving right off when got in saddle, instead of making horse stand, and may be reinforcing that by the way you halter and go to leading, which also starts a horse to moving like this.

Reins should be shortened to mount, not excessively, and right rein should be shorter than left, so if horse does move, it is moving under you, not away.

Sliding into saddle, can result in you not being able to get down too, if you need to fast, and I don't know that that is something I would do?

You may also be taking to long to come up in stirrup and settling, or dragging toe across back.

Girth may be pinching skin, if you aren't stretching forelegs out to make sure, or you have not tented saddle pad, so that when you are mounting it is pulling mane at withers or pulling skin.

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post #7 of 7 Old 07-19-2012, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by txnative View Post
My horse used to be awful about backing up when I tried to mount. To solve it, I got in front of him and backed him up a LOT. Then we'd go back to the mounting block. If he moved again he got another big back up session. Now he stands perfectly still for me.
I was going to suggest something similar...

Your horse needs to equate the mounting block with standing still. Work away from the mounting block, and when it's time to rest, let the horse rest next to the mounting block.

Practice walking up and down the mounting block a few times (be prepared to jump off) as though you were actually going to mount. If the horse takes a step, IMMEDIATELY back him up in a circle. Keep him moving until he is next to the mounting block again.

It shouldn't take him long to figure out that standing quietly at the mounting block is the easiest thing to do.

Leasing a spoiled rotten trail horse...pretty - but a brat!
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