what works for getting your horse to stand when mounted? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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what works for getting your horse to stand when mounted?

I actually posted a long time ago about this, but I would like everyone's opinions again. How did you guys teach your horses to stand still when being mounted? My mare still has this habit of moving around when I try to get on. Sometimes she'll stand for me, but she's not very consistent with this. I was thinking of making a day out of it and working on just that with her. Does ground-tying help? What works?


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post #2 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 12:44 AM
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Hmmm... my current riding horse is pretty good, he'll just stand and let me get on, occasionally he'll take a couple of steps, but that's it. My old mare however is a shocker. She'll just walk off with you hanging half out of the saddle with an attitude that says "Let me know when you make it up there."
One thing I have been doing however, to prevent my horse from having a little bucking fit when i try to get on, as he sometimes feels inclined to do, is flex his head around to my toe while i get on.
Haven't tried this with my mare yet, but you could try flexing her around at a standstill, and if she walks in a circle, let her walk around until she stops and then get on her. It may not work, but it can't hurt to try.
Interested to see what others say.
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post #3 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 12:53 AM
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Hi i went though a phase of my horse taking off as soon as my bum hit the saddle.After much frustration i decided to do ground work with him -moving backwards forwards sidewards ect.Only allowing him to move his feet when i directed him.I then transfered this to me getting on.If he moved whilst mounting i got off and repositioned his feet and then tried again.It took some patience i can tell you but we eventually conveyed the message to him.He now his a pleasure to mount.I dont no whether this was the right way but i found it worked for us.bevie
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 01:09 AM
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Montana used to be quite bad about this. Usually when he had a saddle on.Bareback he took care of me.
But what I did do was not get on him until he stood and didn't take a step.
Anytime he would move, I would hop off the mounting block and re-align him.
I guess it got to be too tedious for him or it finally clicked as to what to do.

With Vega I still need to work with her on the mounting block, but she'll stand if I just mount from the ground.

Groung tying might help, I haven't tried it. But I do teach my guys that when I say stand to stand, and it seems to help, as I say "stand" when I place them by the mounting block or place where I get on.

It's always good to take a day out and just work on standing still for mounting. Remember to do it from both sides too :)
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post #5 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 07:37 AM
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Remember to always hold your right rein tighter than your left... that way if your horse moves off, she will most likely move to the right, which will bring her hind end closer instead of away.

Every ride, good or bad, teaches you something new.
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post #6 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 08:28 AM
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The way I've always been taught and that I choose to teach others is this...
Teach your horse to flex laterally if they don't already know how. Teach them what a one rein stop is. When mounting bring your left rein around and ask for a one rein stop. If your horse chooses to move, then continue holding until they understand the purpose of the pressure. Once mounted continue holding for a moment, then release. Don't move off. Let your horse sit for a few minutes. Then back and roll back over itself to begin forward motion.
Something else that would be beneficial is to teach your horse the meaning of "whoa" with out rein contact. Whoa means stop all movement and that will help with the mounting issue.

It works if your patient and its a lot more reliable that just pulling back on the reins and hoping your horse will listen that day.
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post #7 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 09:11 AM
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First I do ground prep with the horse. When the saddle is on I flap the fenders/leathers hard against the saddle until the horse is calm and relaxed with that. It's a good thing to have your horse desensitized to for safety reasons. Then I'll go to the mounting block, fence, etc. and I then teach my horse to come pick me up, where all I have to do now is stand up on something and my horse aligns himself right where I need him to for me to hop on, either on the left or the right. I don't have to position him myself, my horse just does it automatically. It's so cool! Then when I get on if the horse moves, say 2 steps, I will back him 4 and ask him to wait. If he moves 3 steps I back him 6 and ask him to wait....see the pattern? When you get on you want to instill a pattern of "Hurry up and wait." A lot of horses have the pattern of "Hurry up and go!" which is very dangerous. Each and every time I get on I sit there for a minute or two, I never just get on and walk off. This is a positive pattern horses need to get into.
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post #8 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 09:29 AM
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All good answers, but one thing that I swear by, and I don't use any other method and it works in minutes.
You can do this if you are on a mounting block, or just on the ground. If you have ahorse that stands still for mounting, but walks off when you get into the saddle I would recommend you training your horse from a mounting block.
Anyway, climb up on your mounting block, or get in position on the ground. Guide your horse up to you by pulling on the rein closest to you. If he takes a step forward without swinging his hind end away, stop and praise for each step. If he swings his hind end away, simply pull his head to your right, and wave him back over with your left hand. This will re-align the horse to be mounted. Then you repeat to get him closer. Any effort on the horse's part to stand still or to not move away, just stop for a moment and love on him. The second he goes to walk away, or move his hind end away, pull his head back and swings his hind end over with your arms, or if you have a dull horse use a whip to wave in the air.
This takes seconds, and it is very clear to the horse that the only place of peace is next to you, parallel to the mounting block, and standing quiet.
If your horse understands, but moves when you go to put your foot in the stirrup, do not mount. Repeat until he stands quiet.
Be careful not to pull down on the bit, or punish the horse for moving with the bit. Simply use it as a re-direction.
If this does not make enough sense, I'd be happy to do a short video for you.

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Spirithorse View Post
First I do ground prep with the horse. When the saddle is on I flap the fenders/leathers hard against the saddle until the horse is calm and relaxed with that. It's a good thing to have your horse desensitized to for safety reasons.
Desensitizing to noise and the fenders hitting the horse is not the same as a horse moving when you attempt to mount.

Our method is to make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy. If the horse moves when you go to mount, you make the horse move. I will say move, move, move. Small trot circles, backing them up, sidepass, in hand work. When I go to mount I will say stand. If they move, the process is repeated.

You also have to think about how you are getting on the horse. Are you dragging yourself on and plopping hard on their back? If your horse is tall, then a mounting block is a good choice until you develop the leg and abdomen muscles to allow you to 'spring and light' into the saddle.
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 02:46 PM
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What I'm saying mls is that moving the fenders PREPARES the horse to be CONFIDENT for me getting on. Sometimes horses will move because they are nervous so desensitizing them to the fenders being flung about is a great way to get them more confident.
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