Super simple....but a horse that won't stand still to mount
So my mare DOES NOT like to stand still to mount. Just when i think she'll stand. I go and put the mounting block up by her, then i get on the mounting block (im holding the reins by her withers not super tight but not super loose either) and she will immediatley start to walk off in a circle around the mounting block.
I've been told by several people that this can be quite dangrous, but those people ahve never helped or told me how to fix it. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get her to just stand ?
The easiest answer would be when she moves off put her feet to work yield her hind quarters with energy four or five rotations, then ask her to stand. If she moves off do it again until she realizes that moving gets her more more work. You really need to make that hind end hustle not just lazily move it around, make the right thing easy and wrong thing difficult. You could also try putting her between a fence and the mounting block to discourage her from swinging her hind end away from you. But she will most likely move forward, so move her feet and hustle that hind end. Once you get on make her stand for a few minutes, do some lateral bending, vertical bending, mess with your stirrups, just sit quiet so she knows that when you get on it does not mean take off and go.
that was really helpful ! thank you ! i'll try that!
Good advice above. Just want to add, the split second you get the success you are looking for, reward her so she knows she did the correct thing. I've noticed, for mounting in particular, if you wait even second to reward them for standing still, you've blown it and they're back to walking off again.
And yes, it is dangerous. I know several people who have twisted ankles and knees trying to mount moving horses.
Put a knotted halter underneath and hang onto the lead instead of the reins. Arm yourself with a riding crop. When she starts to move forward, get down fast and back her up hard and fast using the crop to tap her chest. And look at her like you plan on murdering her. Back her up a good 30'. Then as tho nothing happened bring her back to the block. She may not have made the connection and you may have to repeat the backing. Now she's starting to figure it out. When you mount, back her two or three steps and allow her to stand on a loose rein. If she decides to walk off back her again from the saddle only this time add a few more strides. Someone has allowed her to walk off and that is what she thinks is ok.
I think most mounting problems start way before mounting. When I hear people stating their horse moves off while mounting, or I see this happening, I watch to see how the horse stands to be groomed...whether tied to a rail or ground tied. *Usually* horses that do not stand still to be groomed and tacked up don't stand well when being mounted.
Start while grooming the stand still thing. if your horse moves a foot, put the foot back where it was. Same with the hip or shoulder. Mark a spot where you groom and tack up and make your horse stand there. Once the horse gets he/she is NOT to move until cued....mounting will not be a problem.
Also, people do not realize when they swing the leg over and place their foot in the stirrup they get the horse in the ribs with their boot. Watch how you put your feet in the stirrup on the off side while mounting.
Don't you love that when people say what you're doing is wrong or dangerous and then offer no help whatsoever! I have that a lot in my little riding community. ;)
I agree with get her doing a lot of exercises where she is moving the hind quarters and/or shoulder to start. She needs to mostly understand that what you say goes and the way you do that is with groundwork. Pressure and release of pressure. Pressure when you want her to do something and release as soon as she does.
As an aside...and it surprised me. When I learned it I used the yielding the hindquarters exclusively with my horses if they refused to stand still at the block. A few weeks back my current boy really surprised me. Due to scheduling I had gone down very early top ride..right around the time the horses are normally turned out. Even though he had been ridden the day before, he was antsy and just plain pushy..he was giving me that "I want to go outside not go to work" attitude. Weeks prior we had gotten past the whole moving while mounting issue but this particular day I could NOT get on no matter the amount of yielding and/or backing. Rather than keep arguing, I put the reins behind my irons and free lunged him for a good ten minutes as in all trotting or cantering and no walking allowed. When he finally decided he was tired, I brought him back to the block and he stood stock still and didn't even LEAN forward. I then proceeded to work the proverbial devil out of him for the next hour (fewer walk breaks). By the time I turned him out he only walked up the hill to the other horses which is another unheard of scenario.
That was the only time I ever had that yield and/or backup exercise fail as a "remiinder" lesson once the initial lesson of standing still had been achieved.
I started fixing this sort of issue with my new horse yesterday. Normally as soon as my foot is in the stirrup and my other has left the ground he's moving. Not his fault, just last owners I think jumped and said "go".
I use a bit of clicker type training (without clicker though) - but lots of people don't like that, still my method works without treating, just a little slower in my experience.
The way I see it is most horses have a certain point when they move. It might be when you climb on the block, gather the reins etc. Anyway I find that point and then go to before it. Horses know your routine and they'll tense up just before they move off.
Basically I work at the "tense" point until it's relaxed and then the next point becomes the "tense" point, then I relax it etc, but because I never move beyond the "tense" point they don't need to go to the action (walking away) point. Sometimes my horse starts to moving and I correct it, backing them to where they should be but then I continue with my method. For example when you rest your hand on the horn (or pommel) that might be the horses "get ready to move" point, so I rest my hand there maybe move it about, rock the saddle until they calm down and stop associating it with "tense up to move away". Then I might put my foot in stirrup always stopping before they move, doing it until they're relaxed and not thinking about moving. It worked in under five minutes for my horse, he was super calm to get on. I'll do it a few more times to reinforce it, but it's what worked for me.
This method works for me because it keeps my horse calm. Yielding and getting them to move their feet can work too, but in my experience it can also make them more alert, active, tensed even where as I like things, such as mounting, to always be calm. It's all just learned behaviour mostly, I figure I'll just teach my horse something else.
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