wont stand to mount!!!!!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-26-2009, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Unhappy wont stand to mount!!!!!!

i've had my mare for about 3 months now, and she has just recently (i mean like within the last week or two) to NOT stand when im going to mount up. Whenever i bring the mounting block near her to mount up, she side steps away from it, and/or backs up. Im really clueless as to why she has just started doing this. Today when i went to ride, it took me a good 10-15 min to get on her properly. Its almost like shes scared of the mounting block, but why has she JUST started reaslizing shes scared of it?

This past saturday, we had our first show, and i was literally on and off her back for a good 9 hours, and She has never been ridden for more then 2 hours before in her life. Is it possible that she is stil sore?

I also double checked all my tack to make sure everything was okay, and nothing was pinching or to tight or hurting her. -nothing.

any info as to why this may be happening, or what i could do to change the way she backs up and sidesteps away from the mounting block when i go to get on would be great! thanks in advanse!
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-26-2009, 04:25 PM
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yeah its very possible that she is sore. Take 2 fingers and start at her withers and go down her spine towards her rear, if she flinches or tenses her back then she is sore. If so stay of her for a couple days and just work with her on the mounting block. Just walk her up and make her stand beside it, no saddle on her. If she wants to move off from it just move her feet and then make her stand by it again. Hope this helps
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-26-2009, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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i will definitely work with her on it. and tomorrow i will try the running my finger down her spine. is there any other way to tell if she is sore?
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-26-2009, 11:01 PM
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could be pokin' her with your toe when you mount up. Common issue. watch your feet.

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-27-2009, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Qtswede View Post
could be pokin' her with your toe when you mount up. Common issue. watch your feet.

yeah, thats not the issue. its getting her to stand near the mounting block without dancing all over the place.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-27-2009, 09:01 PM
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Ye, I recommend getting her back and legs checked out.
Does she do this when you try to get on from the ground?
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-27-2009, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by saint3meg3rlfc View Post
Ye, I recommend getting her back and legs checked out.
Does she do this when you try to get on from the ground?
no, i always use a mounting block because she has no withers, so my saddle slides if i mount from the ground without a leg up from someone.

And her back and legs are fine. i just think shes sore. but today i took her our and lunged her, and she was much more calm. i think it was partly due to the weather as well. we are having a huge storm right now and i think she could have sensed it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-28-2009, 09:19 AM
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Refusing to stand still while mounting is actually a somewhat common vice in horses. I'm glad you looked into any pain or discomfort first. But I think with most horses it's just a way of attempting to avoid work. I would suggest spending a little time every day working on standing still.

Backing up- horses actually don't love to back up. If she takes a few steps backwards, make her back up and keep her doing it until she doesn't want to back up anymore. (know her limits, some horses will get frustrated and start to rear) Then let her stop and walk a few steps forward and try to get back on. If she backs up again? back her up again. You may have to have a friend carry a mounting block with you so you have one right where you need it.

Moving forward- this you will need a friend for. Have your friend put her on a lunge line and stop her at the edge of the circle (does that make sense?). Try to get on and if she moves forward back away and have your friend lunge her around a few circles. Stop, then try and get back on. If she moves forward, lunge her around some more. Over and over again until she realizes that walking forward on the line only creates more work for her.

Moving away from the block- I think this is the most common. This fortunately you can do yourself. When you get up to the block most horses will try to move away from you, but if you have a hold on the reins can only get their haunches away from you while their head is still at the block. so as you get to the block take the rein further from you (right rein, assuming you get on on the left) and pull it out and towards you so your horse's head/neck will bent and be tipped away from you (to the right). When her head is tipped right, she can't swing her haunches more to the right. You'll also need a hold of the left right so she can't just start walking forward. This take a bit of practice to get just right!

I'd spend several days just getting on, let her stand quietly for a few minutes, give her a pat, and hop off. Do it a few times in a row before you start your ride. Also, when she does stand still as you get on, make sure you give her a pat and make her stand still a few seconds before asking her to walk forward.

Sorry for the novel but I hope it helps! Like I said, moving away from the mounting block is a fairly common problem but fortunately one that is usually fixed pretty easily.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-28-2009, 09:59 AM
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I am in the process of saddle breaking a pair of 3 year old fillys. Because I am old and have a fat butt I have to use a mounting block. That made it twice as hard. I had to get them to stand still by a mounting block before I could even think about getting on their back. Not an easy task, believe me.
I did exactly as Upnover recommended. I was alone most of the time so If one of the them walked off, I would jump off the block and lunge them a few turns around the pen and try again.
I want to add, make sure you are sitting easy, not plopping down hard in the saddle. Once mounted, sit quietly for a few minutes before you move out. The horse has to learn that just because butt hits leather, its not time to start walking.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-28-2009, 01:12 PM
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My younger mare had this issue when I first started working with her, but she'd had several bad experiences with riders over several bad attempts to break her. That time I got over the issue by following her; I had the lead rope in one hand and literally held onto the saddle flap with the other and walked around with her, staying exactly in the spot I would be by her side when I was mounting. Eventually she figured out I wasn't going to stop following her and she stood still. I only had to do this once and she was perfect thereafter.

I didn't have a problem again until fairly recently; but our rides lately haven't been very pleasant for her either. It's taken me a bit longer to get her out of it this time, and my tactic has changed, but here's what I've learned: some people will recommend you pull the inside rein towards you so they move into you when they move away, that way you can make them do small circles until they're tired. A well-conditioned horse may not get tired for a while, so be patient. This may not work for you either if only because just putting pressure on the rein is enough for the horse to think you're asking them to move into you, or move their hindquarters out. I made my current situation worse before I made it better thanks to this tidbit. What I did this time was completely tack her up, but leave her halter and lead rope on under the bridle. I put my reins over the saddle horn, but around and back down her side so I could pull down to ask her to stop with both reins at once and gently held the left (inside) rein in my left hand without putting pressure on her mouth. I also had the lead rope in my hand. I approached, grabbed the saddle flap, and let her move away, all the while staying in the same spot next to her while pulling on the appropriate dangly-thingy: left rein if she tried to move forward or right, dangling rein ends when I was telling her to ho, lead rope if she got too far away, etc. If she stepped too far into me on the left rein I'd prod her back out with my hand; but this is actually why I don't like this tactic: all that did was make her move away from me some more. When she did finally stop and stand long enough, I would tell her good girl and pat her, make a really big deal out of it, etc.

In the end, this is how I got her to stand; and I DON'T recommend this unless you know your horse very well and know the psychology behind horse behavior and positive reinforcement, especially as it applies to your horse. Both my mares are VERY food motivated; so I stuck a carrot in my sweatshirt's front pocket and broke a piece off and gave it to her every time she stood still. Eventually she let me get on without moving away and stood perfectly still while I mounted. I then gave her the final piece of carrot after I got back off.

I should also point out that it may be more effective if you work *only* on mounting until the habit is broken and don't actually ride your horse during these sessions. She'll learn that avoiding being mounted definitely means work (moving away from you) but letting you on doesn't always mean work. That means when she lets you get on and stands for you, finally, make a big deal out of praising her while mounted, still standing, and get off and untack and put her away.

Mine's long too, sorry if it's confusing, if there's any questions feel free to ask :)
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