Walking off while mounting - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Walking off while mounting

Apollo recently started doing this the last 3 times I rode him. Its driving me crazy. I will be on the mounting block and he will take a step back. I hop down and back him up a few steps and tell him to stand. This will happen 2 or 3 times and I will finally be able to put my foot in the stirrup without him backing up...then when he feels my weight in the stirrup when I get on he will walk off before I can even get my other stirrup. I immediately stop him and back him up again and have him stand then walk on when I ask.

Today he did the same thing except started trotting off (which is weird because I usually have to get after him a bit to get him to trot)...I pulled my right rein and made him go in small circles until he came to a stop and made him back up. We walked and trotted a couple laps, practiced stopping and backing and then got off and then back on and he walked off again...it is driving me crazy.

How would you go about training him to stand while/after being mounted.
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 05:04 PM
Green Broke
 
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When I have a horse that wants to move when I don't want them to, I make them really move their feet. I don't just back them up a few steps I will send them off and lunge them a few circles in each direction or back them up aggressively. Making them move their feet in a hurried manner. I get them breathing pretty good so that standing still is the better option. If you don't get their feet moving with some energy from them, backing up really isn't a consequence to moving.

Edit: This is with a horse that is not moving because of fear. That would be a different response and I don't think your horse is doing it out of fear.
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Last edited by usandpets; 06-11-2013 at 05:10 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 05:07 PM
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First off, I'd wonder why he just started doing this. Any tack changes? Worn areas? Blanket folds/bumps? Is he getting bumped by your foot when you mount?

Set up a mounting area where you can restrict his movement forwards and to the right -- a corner spot of a fence perhaps. Mount up. Sit. Do nothing. Get off. Lead him around. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

If you are going to actually ride that day, repeat this exercise at the end of the ride as well to reinforce. Maybe only one repeat though :)

Next day. Same thing, but move back from the forward block/fence so there would actually be room for him to take a step or two forward. If he moves when you mount, when you are up, back him up to where he was. Sit. Do nothing. Get off. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 05:18 PM
Green Broke
 
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Id be happy if mine just walked off when mounting, mine tend to run. Makes life interesting. I keep meaning to fix this, but so far I just pretty much yell "YAH MULE" make everyone think it was my idea.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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A horse that walks off is a serious problem.
If he backed one step I''d back him 20 and bring him back to where he started. If he stepped to the left, I'd be circling him left several times.
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets View Post
When I have a horse that wants to move when I don't want them to, I make them really move their feet. I don't just back them up a few steps I will send them off and lunge them a few circles in each direction or back them up aggressively. Making them move their feet in a hurried manner. I get them breathing pretty good so that standing still is the better option. If you don't get their feet moving with some energy from them, backing up really isn't a consequence to moving.

Edit: This is with a horse that is not moving because of fear. That would be a different response and I don't think your horse is doing it out of fear.
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Yes lunging in tight small circles.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing has changed...same tack and everything. Maybe my right foot is bumping him when I get on because I'm anticipating him walking off and I try to quickly get my stirrup. I also wear pointy toed cowboy boots so maybe my left foot is poking him when I first put my foot in the stirrup? I made sure to look when I got on today and I didn't poke him, but maybe it happened last time and I didn't realize it?

I'm not going to be able to make it out for the next 2 days because of work and my night class so I'll have to work with him on it on Friday. Thanks for the advice. I'm open for other techniques too so I can see what works best for our situation.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 11:15 PM
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This is a very dangerous habit that many horses get into. But it can be fixed pretty quickly by making them like moving away LESS than they like standing to be mounted. Kind of like "if you want to move, then I will give you a reason to, but you won't like it!"

I put just the ball of my foot on the stirrup tread so I can drop my foot back out quickly, then I bounce a bit like I am going to mount. If they step away or walk off I immediately drop my foot back out of the stirrup, pull their head around, get big, growl, swat their butt and run them in a few very quick, tight circles. Then I stop them, rub them, tell them to "stand" and do it again.

Of course this works best for mounting from the ground. Those who use a mounting block will have to modify the "step down and correct" action to take into account standing on the block.

Most horses will only take a few repeats of this and they will hold their ground like they are glued down. Some are more set in their ways and will need reminding on occasion for a while, but it has worked on all of the confirmed "move while mounting" problem horses I've ever used it on.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 11:20 PM
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To me, if the point is you want horse to stand still? Making horse move makes no sense.

Teach horse a "be still" command verbally, and by correcting horse for moving period, on ties, while grooming. Can use whatever works for you, I also have used "keep those feet still" and "plant 'em".

And make sure offside rein is slightly tighter, so that if horse moves, it is coming under you too.

Bring horse up to block, tell them to be still, tighten off rein and then get in saddle. Make sure there is no poking, you are not hanging off of saddle too long and not plopping down in saddle or dragging foot across.

And then when you are mounted, stand still.

Also need to work on horse standing still when leading by you stopping and just staying still.

But your mechanics have more than likely caused this. Also would wonder if there are other areas horse is doing what it wants, but it isn't a problem yet?
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-11-2013, 11:23 PM
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I pull my horse's head toward me before I mount. I do flexing exercises while standing before I mount and finish up holding his head about where my knee would be. I mount from a block, so it's not as hard on him as it might sound. I step into the stirrup once I have his head around to the side and then I step on. If he moves, it's in a very tight circle and easy to stop. Once he's got the idea of standing while mounting with his head to the side, then I start doing it without pulling to the side and see if he'll stand straight. If he stands still, once I'm on then I just sit and chat with someone for a few minutes. If he gets antsy and moves, we do a circle and come right back to the block and sit longer. It takes a few times but they get the hint. I also will move the block to a corner and stick him face first into a fence or wall and mount with him between the block and fence or wall and then we back out. It just takes repetition.

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