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CrufflerSteve 10-29-2007 02:29 PM

Keeping a Horse Still While Mounting
 
My wife and I have been hunting for horses for awhile and found 2 we really liked. They arrived last week and settled right in. We had been looking for mellow and pretty much got that. Since they were doing so well my wife rode both Friday. Saturday we saddled them up for a ride together and Sunday we went on a trail ride with the neighbors and my horse, Lance behaved very well - while riding. My wife might turn up here with questions about 'Indy the Flying Mare'.

I got my horse, Lance, as a husband horse. He's a sturdy 17 year old quarterhorse gelding. 15.3H and very calm but happy to work. His one big fault is irritating. He moves when being mounted. He tends to back up. A neighbor suggested letting him back into a fence to stop that. We dismounted at one point to lead them through a small ravine. He went into his routine and there was a smoothwire fence there so I tried that. Big mistake. Once he backed into the fence he started dancing back and forth sideways and then decided he'd go forward. A dancing horse is not much fun and he stepped on my foot. Once I'm up he stops and he's perfect with dismounting.

He is a joy to ride, easy to direct and totally sure footed. He also gets along well with other horses but really preferred staying next to his pasturemate.

At one point on my first ride he completely balked but I can't fault him too much. We were going down a dirt road and at one point it went over a creek. Mountain lions and bears sometime take that route and its thick with deer, raccoons and skunks. Once he took a deep breath he wouldn't ride over it but he let himself be led over so he's workable.

Any suggestions about how to get a horse to stay still?

Steve

CrufflerSteve 10-29-2007 02:41 PM

I forgot to add that the previous owner had mentioned this so its now new. I expect all sorts of problems as we learn each other's ways but other than this he's a delight.

Steve

Sara 10-29-2007 02:55 PM

Check out the thread called "Dancey Butt" further down the page, covers a similar issue.

CrufflerSteve 10-29-2007 03:18 PM

Dancey Butt had some interesting ideas but doesn't seem to apply very much.

Being new to Lance I've been careful to not push too hard getting him geared up. He'd been ridden English for some years and wasn't happy the first time I put a western saddle on him but didn't move. (He gave me a dirty look.) He stays very still while grooming and saddling. He know the routine so well he's started raising his hooves as I move around to clean them. He doesn't lower his head to be bridled but doesn't raise it. He's been great since these first sessions were marathons. This wasn't his saddle but it fits well. The first time I tried, the original girth was too big so he had to wait while I punched holes in the cinch strap. The second time I saddled him a new cinch needed tweaking and he was perfectly still.

He's been perfectly still and cooperative through all this. Then I get ready to mount and he's moving. He also did the exact same thing out on the trail when I remounted after he'd been ridden for awhile.

Steve

Appyt 10-29-2007 05:27 PM

Sounds like nobody taught him to stand for mounting. Way too often it's get on and go, and so the horses learn to go while you are getting on.

I like my horses to stand until I ask them to move. That way if I am not seated well, need to adjust anything I am not at a disadvantage.

How do you teach that you ask? By being persistent. When does your horse move? Is it as soon as your foot lifts toward the stirrup? Or is it when you are halfway up? Find that moment and watch closely for what happens the moment before that. Catch him in pre-movement spot if you can. At any rate, if he moves you step back down and reposition him where you had him before you stepped up. You can do this a couple of different ways. You can do it very quietly or you can move his hq's around and make him work a bit(still quietly) or you can back him up as many steps as you feel necesary.

Which method you chose may depend on how excited your horse gets. Try different things and see what works best for you.

After you are able to mount with him standing for you, continue to ask him to stand for 15 seconds without moving. This means if he moves you circle him to a stop or whatever works for you, then start counting again. Never let him take the step on his own. It's to be your direction.

Good luck! Enjoy!

Sara 10-29-2007 06:05 PM

Yeah...I can tell you how I've seen a couple of trainers teach it to young horses and it is just a lot of persistence. One guy I know will tack up (or harness up, if they are driving that day) and often just let the horse stand for 5 to 10 minutes. It might be in the wash stall. Might be by the mounting block. Might be with someone in the saddle. Basically, the horse just learns to stand quietly whenever asked. By the time the horse leaves his facility, he/she will stand rock solid for mounting...but those are young horses, they are never allowed to develop the habit of moving off. So good luck:P

Vidaloco 10-29-2007 07:46 PM

Hi Steve, glad you got your barn full :) There was another thread on standing while mounting http://www.horseforum.com/viewtopic....945&highlight=
I'm a jump up and down person you will have to read the thread so I don't have to type it all out again.

Jojo 10-30-2007 12:02 AM

What I was taught, was to get the horses' feet to stand square. I don't know if you've tried this. I'm too tired to read through the entire posts.

If you get all their legs even with each other, they're more likey to stand still while you mount. It's a good start to teaching them to stand while being mounted.

PoptartShop 10-30-2007 12:24 AM

I had that problem before.
It's pretty simple....someone taught me a technique that helps to trick 'em! ;)
Simply stand like you're going to get up, then jiggle the saddle a bit, to see if the horse move. If the horse moves, halt it, & then try wiggling the saddle again...(you'll have to tighten up your girth of course after doing this fully), & see if the horse moves.
Well, it might not work for you (keeping the legs square might work better for you!) but it worked for me. It kinda teased the horse, & when I finally got on, didn't move at all!!
They think when the saddle moves a bit, it's time to GO!!
But if 'ya trick them, & wiggle the saddle when you're not getting on, they most likely won't do it again.
But I don't know your horse, so you might be better off trying the other techniques. ;)

Spirithorse 10-30-2007 10:48 AM

Here is an article that may help you. :)

Won't Stand Still to Mount
When a horse won’t stand still to allow you to mount, beware. If you swing up anyway it’s a bit like running down the pier to jump onto a sinking ship! There are a couple reasons this horse may not want you on his back, either he’s nervous and afraid of being ridden, or he just plain does not like it. In order to determine how to solve the problem you have to take one of two approaches. Try to recognize if the horse is responding with a fear reaction or a negative opinion... one is right brain (instinctive, prey animal) the other is left brain (no fear involved).

A fearful horse needs to learn how to trust you, so your strategies have to be around giving him no reason to fear you. This can take some time so don’t be in a hurry to ride until your horse gives you the green light...wait until he stands still so you can get on. Much of what you need to know about this kind of horse is revealed in our Horsenality DVD. After that the Safe Ride DVD will give you direction for getting your horse ‘in the mood’, calm and ready to ride.

When it comes to the horse who doesn’t like being ridden, this could be more about how you ride, so learning how to become more in tune with your horse will be a big solution (Natural Rider). Sure, you could try to discipline your horse but things will not get better. He already doesn’t like being ridden so the last thing you want to do is have him dislike you!

The answers are naturally simple but you have to look at it from the horse’s point of view. When you know why your horse is having trouble, you can then solve the problem with the appropriate strategies. One technique does not work equally for all horses, you must look at their individual needs.


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