mounting from the offside? with a horse that has mounting issues...
I've been working with my almost 6year old TB exracer mare for the last 9months to get her comfy with being mounted, harder than orginially thought, I bought her from a selling yard that had schooled her as she had previous mounting issues, but I when to see her and she was pretty much perfect, till I bought her home.... The first time I got on her at home was awful, before my weigh was in the saddle she was up in the air walking on her back legs... me on the floor, screaming my head off.... Cause I put my back outta line.... Not nice and I was on rubber and sand.... Well after two months off for me and the horse (I got her back, teeth and saddle check in those months, the saddle was way too narrow for her and she had a sore back) so after both of us had our back re aligned by professionals, I started from basics, leaning over each this went well for 4-5times but then she started to panic again, so I started doing more ground work to build up our bond now she is fully trusting but still worried about it, I was think prehaps changing side might stop her from panicing, as Monty Roberts says to always rrepeat the action on the other side as horses sides are different.... Any thoughts?
I'm also looking into if she's cold backed, there's no major physical signs of panic but a few of the horses at my old riding school were cold backed...
I would really like to ride maisie this summer as she's a lovely horse and I don't want to have to sell her, like many people have suggested to me... I'm commited to get her back to her riding glory!
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Hard to say what is going on here. I really think you need a trainer to evaluate this horse, as it sounds like much more than you can deal with on your own.
If it was anything else but the rearing? I'd have advice, but rearing nips any advice in the bud. Not something to try and fix by yourself, and I'm going to be honest here.
I imagine that has a lot to do with her being in need of rescue too.
Whether there are more issues with back, and I am thinking broken bones/cracked bones here? It will take X-rays to rule out many things. And still might never have horse that is safe to ride.
As regards to a trainer, i've had a friend who breaks and schools horses much like myself, and they have said it's just about showing her there isn't any pain, and getting on a doing it.
she doesn't rear whilst being ridden only mounting, which tells me she's had a pain whilst mounting before, which correlates to the awful saddle she was in when i bought her, now she has had a saddle fitted to her she's a lot more forward going when i'm on, it's just getting on...
i was just wondering because it's more psychological than physical if changing the process would help ease her as it would be a new experience.... rather than something that she's thought about for a long time....
due to the prolonged period of time she's been doing this the vet has rules out sprains and other soft tissue injuries, the vet has also ruled out kissing spine, and other back issues, and we've had the physio out who has also said in her point of view that there isn't anything wrong with her back, other than her being tense.... so we have done all that is possible to rule out pain.
as you can imagine i was extremely worried about this behaviour as i've worked with many horses including schooling and breaking in horses, so have spend a lot of time and money on medical checks to rule out any pain, and honestly i do think my self capable of training her, i was merely asking for advice and to see if anyone else had done with difficult mounters.
Are you familiar with how horses are mounted at the track? They are kept moving, and a groom or an assistant puts the rider up without ever stopping the horse's forward motion.
Standing still for mounting is very, very foreign to racehorses and it's not uncommon for them to have a panic reaction progressing to a rear if not allowed to move forward while being mounted.
Retraining them takes time and an understanding of how they were trained in the first place. It would be ideal to work with someone else who could give you leg up while she's moving like at the track; but I understand that may not be possible. I would start out mounting in a stall or confined area and letting her move forward at will and then introduce a halt and stand a few steps after the mount, and gradually increase the length of the halt and stand and ask for it closer to the mount.
I would suggest find someone who has experience with racehorses or reclaiming racehorses to help you with this.
I think in this case clicker training would be beneficial. You don't need to buy a clicker, just make a cluck sound like a hen. This is followed with a small food reward. There are many examples of doing this on you tube. Food is a great motive. I'll give you an example but please research it first. The horse is taught to touch a target (tip of your riding crop as an example). When it does you click (cluck) and give a treat. This is repeated many times holding the crop high, low, and she will start looking to touch it c/t. The horse learns that the click means the treat is coming. Later on....when you set the saddle on, c/t only if she stands still, then remove the saddle. Repeat many times. Then the girth, then a litte weight on her back. You can see the progression. Numerous repetitions with the rewards. When you first mount and she remains standing c't and dismount. You will work this to mounting and remaining for 15 sec., then 30.
This method may be a little unorthodox for this situation, but I have seen it work on race horses before.
Horses hate work regardless of what you do they would rather be in the pasture lounging around eating grass and hay. You ever wonder why horses run away when they see you and don't want to be caught? Some of its attitude but the most of it is because they do NOT want to be worked. Horses are naturally LAZY animals. You have to give them a purpose for there work, you can't get on and do a bunch of circles every time you get on because the horse will get bored and sour with what you're doing and have even more problems before. If you give them a purpose they may be more willing to be caught and worked.
^^What I described up there wasn't directed at you lol. Its the intro to what I am about to tell you.
Racehorses we're taught to just keep moving when some one mounts no matter what they are supposed to keep moving. You have to use revers physiology on this situation there. When she wants to keep moving and not stand still you MAKE her move, if she wants to move you let her but you do it on YOUR terms not hers. When she moves away from you make her move her feet, make her back up make her longe a few circles and make her do it hard. Don't give her a second thought about stopping. You stop her when YOU want to stop her. She doesn't get to stop when she wants too.
You have to get the horse listening to you and using its brain, the thinking side of its brain, yes horses do and can think they are one of the most smartest animals out there.
Stop the horse and then begin to mount again if she moves, make her move and make her move HARD again don't give her a second thought about stopping until you want her to stop. If you do this a few times the horse should be realizing this "If I stand here I will not get worked and I wont have to move. If I move I will have to work 10 times harder then I want too." That's exactly the point. You want the horse to work more then it needs to, so that the horse can understand what you want. Make the wrong choice ten times harder and the easy choice 10 times easier.
Like I said this method is a little unorthodox for this situation. But I guarantee you if you keep at this for even 30 minutes and make her move her feet hard when she chooses to move, you will be mounting her by the end of those thirty minutes. It just takes time, sometimes for other horses it takes longer for them to understand what you want. I used this method on my horse when I broke her. She always wanted to move when I was getting ready to mount I open handedly slapped her butt and made her move around more then she wanted too. All she wanted to do was get away, what I made her do was work for the wrong choice she made. Soon she was standing for me to mount and has not tried to move since and this was almost 3 years ago.
Good news! I have had a very brave friend help me with Maisie and we've be able to on with a little treat giving... fingers crossed for the next few weeks so she's bomb proof getting on I can finally ride my own horse after 9 months
Started with the offside was extremely helpful :)
Glad you had a good result w/having some help.
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