I have a walker that started to go in circles when I am mounting her. She keeps moving her hind quarters to the lesft as I attempt to put my foot in the stirrup. Any suggestons on whast I may be doing wrong?
Chandra's advice is sound. It's the horse that needs to learn to hold still while you mount. You horse should learn to stand where ever you want and be still while you mount from any location.
Might not want to risk hopping around with one foot in the stirrup. If the horse bolts you could get hurt
So this is a new development? Can you think back to when it started and try to think about what things went on at that time? Since this is a change of behavior (from the sounds of your post, anyway), I am wondering if something has not happened that made her have an unpleasant association - not necessarily just with mounting, but perhaps with what goes on once you are on her back, which the mounting leads to that. That is not to say the behavior does not need to be corrected, only to say that understanding the cause can make it much easier to determine the best fix.
Are you alone or in a group when this happens? I learned more etiquette today. I learned when riding with others that you make your horse stand still until everyone is mounted and secure. If one horse moves, they all will, resulting in a potential rider injury.
Silly, I know. Common sense when it is actually spoken but to the newbie...
If you are alone, might you find another rider for practice sessions? Someone whose horse can stand still and lead by example?
If you are in a group, think about the other horses and if they are being still or not. Maybe one is too close?
During lessons, my trainer mounts my horse and makes him stand. His first steps are always backwards, before forwards. Stand. Back 2-3 steps. Stand. Then go forward.
While mounting, if my horse moved forward he dismounted the stirruped foot and had the horse work back and into a whoa (stand).
This is a training issue. Horses don't know to stand. If, in the past, you mounted and immediately moved or body cued the horse to move, he is only responding to that training.
If by moving left, you mean moving counterclockwise (further from you) as you're on the left side, you might check your reins. I had the same problems with my walker mare and my husband noticed that I had uneven reins and was actually cueing her. She is very responsive and any pressure at all would cause her to move her hips. So, I have to be very careful to keep a steady hand on rein and mane so as to not pull at all and everything is then fine.
Good advice ladytrails. I wonder if the OP is accidentally giving a little jab in the ribs with her left foot as she shifts her weight into the stirrup? That would be another cue to the horse and very easy to do and not realize.
Very easy to do - my walker mare is such a good girl that she is paying attention to everything I do, so usually the issues I have are because of what I'm doing. When I first got her, I used fly spray that - it turned out - she was sensitive to. It basically caused her to break out everywhere the spray touched. I didn't know it until a couple of days later, I was trying to mount her and she was giving me fits. After the ride, when I untacked her, I found that her skin was puffy under the saddle. Turns out she was in pain even to be touched or bathed, as I did to get the rest of the chemical off her. Mental note to self - very good horse, never assume she's just misbehaving again because there is probably some reason she is acting that way.
Just wondering, is it a bad thing to hold on to the saddle as opposed to some mane when mounting?
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If they are rotating away from me (counter clockwise) I will short the right rein a bit so they will rotate into me when mounting. Once my butt hits the saddle I pull them up and make them stand there. At first, I make them only pause a few seconds prior to asking them to move out then lengthen it out a bit each time. Generally doesn't take long before they stand when mounting, for those that already know better it generally only takes 3-4 times.
If your mare is actually turning into you, try shortening up the left rein a bit. Not enough to get her to rotate away from you but enough to show her what you expect.
Another thing you might be doing is anticipating that she'll move so you put your foot in the stirrup but don't jump up right away. This can be causing her to get a bit anxious. Once your foot hits that stirrup, get your butt in the saddle.
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