Training to stand still while mounting/dismounting
 
 

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Training to stand still while mounting/dismounting

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  • Training a horse to stand while mounting
  • Horse keeps backing up when I start to dismount

 
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    08-05-2008, 01:27 PM
  #1
Foal
Training to stand still while mounting/dismounting

I have Fibromyalgia so some days I am too stiff to step in the stirrup and get into the saddle. I use a wooden box while I am getting onto my horse to ride him, Which he is fine with although lately he has started to back up as soon as I stand on the box so I can't reach him. I get off reposition him and some times I have to do this several times before he stands still long enough for me to get on. Last night he started this moving first when I was trying to tighted the saddle (walking forward) and then (backing up) while I was trying to dismount. He has only been rode for for a little about 6-7 times and only in the round pen. But I don't want him to start this bad habit. So I assume I just have to keep repeating repeating, but it is flustrating because the first few time he stood perfectly still.Thoughts, Suggestions?? Try a different saddle?
     
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    08-05-2008, 01:49 PM
  #2
Showing
It does take a lot of repetition to get a horse to stand still. I start my babys out by jumping up and down next to them and climbing up on a step stool while they stand still when they are just yearlings. I use a mounting block also so its imperative that they will stand still always This may be difficult for you though.
One suggestion I can give is when you do get mounted to just sit on him for at least 2-3 min. Without moving. That way he gets the idea that every time you get mounted you don't just take off.
Use a lightweight movable stool at first and reposition the stool, step up if he moves move the stool. Make sure you give lots of praise maybe even a cookie if he stands still for you.
The easiest of course is to have someone hold him steady while you mount up, then praise him when he stands. Repeating the process till he gets it.
     
    08-05-2008, 02:45 PM
  #3
Foal
standing while mounting

Hey vida dang you need to be training them to girl . You sure do give good advice and the great thing is you have done it your self so when you tell them you are sure of what you have done. Yes doing the stool first is great and sitting on them for a while with out moveing off if great , I have a mare here that was a trip to get standing she was a wild gameing mare before we got her so every time you put a foot in the striup she was gone so I worked her a while by just getting on sitting for a while then getting off repeat repeat repeat now she stand so well and for my old broke up body it is a must for them to stand still . Believe me nothing as wild as steppin in stirup and have a 16.3 mare take off at a full gallop with me hanging on the side like a monkey trying to get on one time in my life it would have been fun and all but these days . It isnt if they don't stand I practice till they do . And ride another one while this one learns the manners
     
    08-05-2008, 11:09 PM
  #4
Trained
Re: standing while mounting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
...the great thing is you have done it your self so when you tell them you are sure of what you have done.
OK, I'm obviously a bit naive :( I would have liked to believe that anyone who sees fit to offer advice here would do so from experience & knowledge. Suppose when I think of many responses I've seen that's a very ignorant assumption tho! :roll:

I will add to the other good advice that firstly make certain there are no real pain issues, from a back, saddle, bit problem etc. Yes, it takes lots of repetition, but it's the moment that you quit that is most important. Approach & retreat is the main key IME.

I think regardless of how well you get a horse prepared for it, there is still going to be some discomfort &/or nervousness the first number of times the girth is done up or someone mounts. A good trainer will work with the horse to desensitise them to the feel of this, so they become quickly tolerant. With the help of *well timed* positive reinforcement(something Good- a treat, scratch on the withers…), rather than just negative(removal of Bad Stuff - pressure), the horse can also learn to actively enjoy being saddled & ridden.

So... if you take a horse who is a little uncomfortable with the process in the first place, if the horse moves & you are unable to mount(which would be more pressure & discomfort on him), the behaviour has been negatively reinforced(strengthened through removal of pressure) and the more repetition, the more solid that(undesirable) behaviour gets. Doesn't matter that he gets repositioned & you try again, because he's just getting more practice being reinforced for the ‘wrong’ thing (that’s right in his eyes).

You need to be conscious of the instant you remove that pressure. You also need to work towards your goal gradually in easy steps with repetition at each stage & not ask too much, so you're in control of the negative reinforcement, not the horse.

I start with getting the horse good with standing at the mounting block/stool. Actually I teach them 'stay'(my cue for ‘ground tie’) before that, so it's just a matter of reinforcing 'stay' at the mounting block. Essentially I do this the same as you would for a dog. You put them somewhere & move away a little - just a step to begin, making it easy enough that the horse is likely to get it 'right'. If the horse stays there a second, say "Yes!"(or use a clicker, praise or whatever your 'bridging signal' of choice is) and immediately give the horse a treat. Repeat this process a number of times before going *a little* further. When the horse moves, reposition him & don't give him a treat. With consistent repetition, soon he'll twig to what you're wanting. Then you progressively repeat this process getting gradually more difficult - eg. You walk further, ask him to stand longer, walk behind him, to another horse... Just be sure that each step is easy enough for him that he's more likely to practice getting it 'right' than 'wrong'. When you can get him to stand, attach a cue to it and ask him to do this when you do up the girth, mount, etc.

Once you’ve taught him to stand on cue, start at & retreat from whatever stage he’s at – eg. If reaching under him for the girth is an issue, do lots of A&R to get him confidently standing for that before you go on to doing the girth up loosely. If he won’t even stand when you reach for the stirrup, don’t put your foot in it yet.

Whatever stage you’re at, it needs to be easy for the horse to get right, and easy enough for you to persist through the 'wrong' behaviour until you get what you want. Make the ‘wrong’ things difficult(keep the pressure on – the girth touching, the foot in the stirrup…) and the ‘right’ things easy(take the discomfort away – the instant he stands still for it, drop the girth, remove your foot…)

When he stands still, don’t continue to mount, because this is persisting with the discomfort & not reinforcing the ‘right’ responses. With practice, he’ll learn that standing still and tolerating everything is the best way to get you to desist soonest. In the meantime, he’s also becoming desensitised & if you add positive reinforcement, he’ll be learning to do it all willingly, not just choose the better of the evils.
     
    08-06-2008, 12:11 AM
  #5
Showing
Loosie, I think Dave was just complimenting Vida on her response. Goodness, don't get so snippy and defensive. I found his post to be helpful, not attacking.
     
    08-06-2008, 12:16 AM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco
It does take a lot of repetition to get a horse to stand still. I start my babys out by jumping up and down next to them and climbing up on a step stool while they stand still when they are just yearlings. I use a mounting block also so its imperative that they will stand still always This may be difficult for you though.
One suggestion I can give is when you do get mounted to just sit on him for at least 2-3 min. Without moving. That way he gets the idea that every time you get mounted you don't just take off.
Use a lightweight movable stool at first and reposition the stool, step up if he moves move the stool. Make sure you give lots of praise maybe even a cookie if he stands still for you.
The easiest of course is to have someone hold him steady while you mount up, then praise him when he stands. Repeating the process till he gets it.
I agree. Also in the beginning it would not hurt to have someone hold him.

Even with a stool some pressure will be applied to one side and it is a matter of the horse getting used to it.

I have absolutely no idea what loosie was trying to say because all I got from that post is desist if they stand for you and desist if they don't....so just when do you actually get on?

Dave you sound very knowledgeable and this forum will lose a good member from the posts that I have read. Please reconsider your last decision and not let one person's comments detour you from remaining.
     
    08-06-2008, 12:20 AM
  #7
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco
It does take a lot of repetition to get a horse to stand still. I start my babys out by jumping up and down next to them and climbing up on a step stool while they stand still when they are just yearlings. I use a mounting block also so its imperative that they will stand still always This may be difficult for you though.
One suggestion I can give is when you do get mounted to just sit on him for at least 2-3 min. Without moving. That way he gets the idea that every time you get mounted you don't just take off.
Use a lightweight movable stool at first and reposition the stool, step up if he moves move the stool. Make sure you give lots of praise maybe even a cookie if he stands still for you.
The easiest of course is to have someone hold him steady while you mount up, then praise him when he stands. Repeating the process till he gets it.
I agree. Also in the beginning it would not hurt to have someone hold him.

Even with a stool some pressure will be applied to one side and it is a matter of the horse getting used to it.

I have absolutely no idea what loosie was trying to say because all I got from that post is desist if they stand for you and desist if they don't....so just when do you actually get on?

Dave you sound very knowledgeable and this forum will lose a good member from the posts that I have read. Please reconsider your last decision and not let one person's comments detour you from remaining.
I second this!!

Loosie, I have NO idea what your post was getting at.

Remember - there is more than one way to skin a cat.
     
    08-06-2008, 12:34 AM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
loosie, I think Dave was just complimenting Vida on her response. Goodness, don't get so snippy and defensive. I found his post to be helpful, not attacking.
Oh, certainly not! I definitely didn't mean to come across like that at all! I meant only exactly what I said, wasn't trying to be narky & write between the lines... Read it again and you will see I was only berrating myself, for being silly enough to assume everyone who gave advice was as Dave described Vida.
     
    08-06-2008, 12:50 AM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
loosie, I think Dave was just complimenting Vida on her response. Goodness, don't get so snippy and defensive. I found his post to be helpful, not attacking.
Oh, certainly not! I definitely didn't mean to come across like that at all! I meant only exactly what I said, wasn't trying to be narky & write between the lines... Read it again and you will see I was only berrating myself, for being silly enough to assume everyone who gave advice was as Dave described Vida.
I am pretty good at reading posts but the following did not come off like that especially with the rollyeyes.

Quote:
OK, I'm obviously a bit naive I would have liked to believe that anyone who sees fit to offer advice here would do so from experience & knowledge. Suppose when I think of many responses I've seen that's a very ignorant assumption tho! :roll:
We must be careful with what we write and take a little more time and care so that the post comes out to closer to what is really meant.

Maybe this is a good lesson for all of us to take a bit more time in reviewing what we post before we hit the submit button.
     
    08-06-2008, 01:43 AM
  #10
Trained
Wow, I made a really good impression with this one, didn't I?? Sorry for the confusion!

Quote:
I have absolutely no idea what loosie was trying to say because all I got from that post is desist if they stand for you and desist if they don't....so just when do you actually get on?
Clear as mud, huh?? Basically, *persist* if they move around, until they stand, then 'desist'. With repetition & reinforcing at the proper time, you can gradually ask for more before retreating, until you're on the horse. Similar to desensitising for anything. That's what I meant to say....

Quote:
We must be careful with what we write and take a little more time and care so that the post comes out to closer to what is really meant.
Yes, I agree thoroughly. It is sometimes hard to come across just as you mean with writing as the only medium. I appologise again for obviously getting it wrong this time. I also try to remember that everyone has different mannerisms & perceptions, and I try not to take offense at things when others write something that seems rude too. I tend to assume the best of others until I'm proven otherwise... which seems to be what got us into this discussion in the first place

Respectfully
Loosie
     

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