The Infamous Hip Swing While Mounting, with a Twist - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 63 Old 07-10-2017, 09:59 PM
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You above post just confirms that the horse has way more problems them mounting issues, and needs to go back to basics
I assume all physical reasons have been ruled out, far as him being so stiff to the left
Just making him do more right circles, the direction he wants to go in, is not addressing the root problem.
He needs to be taught leg aids,shoulder control, yield correctly to pressure
He does not need a buddy tied up near him while being worked. He needs to learn to accept being separated, and remaining focused on you. When he only wanted to turn right, was that buddy tied so he was acting like a magnet?
The horse needs to spend time being tied up, alone.
He needs to learn to follow his nose with his entire body, and for that, he has to move off/yield to leg .
He is not ready to be neck reined, as you need two hands and legs to correct him when he does not follow through with his entire body in correct aleignment
Thus, to turn left, just indicate direction of turn with that inside left rein, lay outside right rein against his neck, and if he does not turn correctly, do NOT use more rein. Fix the body part that is out with your legs. Shoulders not following nose-bump that outside shoulder with your right leg, slightly ahead of cinch. Ribs hanging into that turn-push those ribs out with inside left leg
As I was once told, "you can't ride a board/
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post #42 of 63 Old 07-10-2017, 10:48 PM
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Odd question, have you tried mounting from the opposite side? He is expecting you to mount from the left so maybe if you change it off it will be different enough to make him stop and think long enough for you to get on. I can't think of anything else that might work.

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post #43 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Moore Norma View Post
Odd question, have you tried mounting from the opposite side? He is expecting you to mount from the left so maybe if you change it off it will be different enough to make him stop and think long enough for you to get on. I can't think of anything else that might work.
Same result. I tried that just to see what he'd do.
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post #44 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 10:33 AM
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It is not just trying to compensate for his mounting evasion that is the answer, but rather to fix his basic holes, that come out not just in mounting, but elsewhere< JMO
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post #45 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
It is not just trying to compensate for his mounting evasion that is the answer, but rather to fix his basic holes, that come out not just in mounting, but elsewhere< JMO
(Warning: This is so very long, but this horse has a lot of problems. I know this, I'm doing my best to clean up someone, or multiple someone's mess/es.)

Oh, he has a TON of holes. Someone started him on some very solid training... and then... I don't know what happened to him, but then he changed hands at least two other times... this last time, the owners that sold him to the person who bought him for us told him that they always used Trigger as an 11 year old's parade horse... There is no way in He double hockey sticks that horse was ridden in a parade. I suspect each time he's changed hands, the problems were just compounded, resulting in a 'ruined' horse, tbh.

Anyway.... I've not gone completely alone in this - I had a very highly recommended young man work with him all last summer - but the thing is, he was also highly unreliable. Everyone wants to get paid to help, they don't want to show up. Which is what I've found goes on in this area and its frustrating. However, that young man - Trigger has always trusted him. He has a calm demeanor, soft hands, and knows what he's doing. He comes from a long line of horsemen - he was absolutely stunned by Trigger's neck reining and the foundations of his training.

I've also had the old school rodeo and rancher type cowboys tell me he is what he is, he's been abused, sell him and buy a broke-broke horse or be prepared to just get rough with him and wear him down. *Uhm. No. That is not going to work, its actually the WORST approach for this horse*

Selling him to the first person that will buy him seems horribly unfair to Trigger. He's already made a strong 180, and the young man that worked with him last summer was very pleasantly surprised that Trigger has come to trust me and in recent months, not be afraid of strangers and men... or sunglasses.

(I admit, had I known he would be this type of horse when I bought him from our friend who picked him up at an auction in Texas, I would have passed on him in favor of a less problematic quarter horse - but it is what it is. He's mine now, I don't want to just fob him off on the next sucker to come along or someone that will brutalize him)


I think there's a misunderstanding here on the buddy thing. He has no pasture buddies. Every single horse we have, except the wee filly, hates him. IDK why. They are not friends. He is the outcast and the 'omega' if you want to put it in pack terms. He would have been fed to wolves by now if this was a wild band of horses. He is a submissive and low confidence animal. That's how I got through to him though - guarding him while he eats at feed time and driving the others off when they bullied him, and intervening when Sarge chased him all over the pasture for an entire hour trying to catch him and beat him down. Trigger looked for me, and came to me that day, in desperate need of 'saving' from the pasture bullies. He looks for me, and comes willingly to me every single time I'm outside, and he waits at his gate for me to get home. I'm his buddy. Since then, that alone is a magnificent change in my relationship with this animal. He calls to me if he sees me, he has also started trusting my husband and treats him much the same since one of our dogs was caught terrorizing Trigger and DH ran the dog off, then checked Trigger to see if he'd been bitten (He hadn't).

Now, I keep all horses away from him purposefully (Also the dog moved to my daughter's house to live with her) - Trigger stays alone 99% of the time in a 5 acre turn out with a pond and a nice barn for shelter, with only me to visit with and I'm out there daily.

He had others in the same pasture over the weekend because our BULL Carlos lifted the gate to the cattle pasture off its hinges and tossed it aside.... because he's weird like that... thus opening up the way between the two pastures for himself and his harem of cows and calves, but also the filly and our two oldest horses, Jackie and Superman.

They are all back on their side of the fence. Sarge was around because my potential son-in-law to be was using the round pen the same day.

Honestly, I'm starting to think he's trying me. He has no physical issues, I've eliminated saddling issues, girth issues (I swapped his front girth, a rope type, with a memory foam squishy gel type girth), I've had the farrier keep his feet in very good shape, with regular trimming and/or shoeing (that's another area of progress - he doesn't squirm or fuss when the farrier comes out anymore. He used to be a ****** to shoe, now he's just as calm as our 'bomb proof' teacher horse. His teeth are fine. His back is fine.

He's no dummy though. He may be the smartest horse we have.

Tying him up and leaving him... I tie him up regularly when I'm working on cleaning the tack room, and he's stood there for hours while I do that. We work on standing still in the round pen. Sometimes he feels the need to fidget, most of the time he stands for me.

I keep him guessing what we're doing today: Some days I groom him and give him treats while tied up, fly spray, etc.; some days we just put the saddle on, take the saddle off... put it on, take it off, try out a different saddle pad for giggles, IDK. Anything to keep him guessing and curious. Some days I just stand there, leaning against the pole he's tied to, ignoring him (mostly), singing quietly to my music and cleaning the breast collars, etc, while he sniffs and investigates what I have in my hands - because curiosity is the key to him. He can't STAND to not see what I'm doing.

Some days, I just clean the tack room up, sweep it out, clean out any trash while he's tied up. Some days, he gets OOOOHHH MMAAANNN His OWN tub of sweet feed... Some times I saddle him up and just work on walking him around with and without the reins in my hands - he follows and stops when I do, backs up when I do. I don't even have to give him a verbal cue any more.

Lately he and I have had to talk about empty water bottles and how they aren't going to eat him - same for the walmart bags on a fishing pole. Some days... we just ride in the round pen while I talk to him and good lord, sing to him. Maybe he hates the singing? IDK. But I like to keep him listening to me, not looking for boogers in the bushes.

Sunday - I think he was being stubborn and trying to get me to give up and just unsaddle him - like the hip checks on mounting. It FELT like a battle of wills to me. Like subtle little annoyances to get me to say to heck with it.

The circles... I did make him go the other direction, don't get me wrong, but he wanted to have little tantrums about it. So obliging him and making him do what he 'wants' until he's sick of it - and then a little bit more - is usually the best way to convince him my way is much easier on him.

USUALLY it works.

The mounting is what had me puzzled - I've had horses walk off, I've had them swing away... but never intentionally watch and hip-check me as I lifted my boot and just almost got my boot in the stirrup. But it seems my tenacity and not letting him 'win' by giving up seems to have solved the problem. Also, he seemed surprised when I pushed back to force him to square up when he tried it that first couple of times Sunday. After that, he stopped.

I am going to try him again this evening and see what he does. I suspect its more of the right-hand circling since the hip-check didn't get him out of being ridden.

Last but not least, I am taking to heart the advice here. I am. But. He already KNOWS neck reining. He already knows leg cues and pressure and release. That's why I don't use a bit on him. I don't think he was ever trained with a bit - bits of any sort, any at all, cause him to rear up and act a complete, confused, fool. The hack was my last ditch effort to find something that worked for him. If he didn't neck rein, no way in hades would I have tried riding him with a hack. USUALLY I don't have to even apply much rein pressure the lightest touch of the rein to his neck and gentle knee and leg pressure along usually gets a swift and lovely response from him, but I have to be careful, just one nudge too many, one click of the tongue too many, and he's ready to GO! That's why its suspected he was either a barrel horse once, or a barrel horse in training.

Someone put a lot of work into him at one time. Then someone destroyed him emotionally.

I'm just trying to pick up the pieces. Its like working a jigsaw puzzle in the dark with him. You guys are helping me tremendously by handing me pieces - I just have to figure out which ones fit and which ones don't.
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Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 07-11-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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post #46 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 02:06 PM
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Well, good luck and sounds like you are committed
To me, ahorse that 'neck reins ' very well, but was never properly educated to a bit, are not compatible in any respected training program
The correct training progression for a western horse, is to be started in a snaffle of a bosal, riidng with two hands, while working towards the horse learning to work off the indirect rein, WHILE keeping total body alignment correct. It is not some rush neck reining taught by some Yah Hoos where they will often even hit the horse on the neck rein side,and get him jumping into a turn often with rein hand way out in the direction of the turn,nose tipped in opposite direction
If he truly 'neck reined' , he would guide, staying evenly between your rein hand and your legs. He would have been 'educated' tot he point he was ready to 'graduate' from the snaffle or bosal, and be ridden totally one handed, with a curb being designed for that
Of course, there is the possiblity that his mouth was abused, that he learned to run through a bit, so was switched to a Mechanical Hackamore, for control
I would make sure that he had no mouth issues, like a cut tongue , bruised bars, ect, and then try going right back to basics, and gradually bit him with a snaffle.
While I believe that any well trained horse should ride bittless, I also believe the reverse is true, unless, of course past abuse of that mouth or a mouth issue precludes it.
Many people think that ahorse should pick up riding with a bit, just like he easliy does, riding bittless in some direct action device.This is not so, as riding bittless, you use the same pressure points the horse has learned to respond to, since he was halter broke. He has to be taught, through a correct gradual process, to respond to those new pressure points in his mouth. If this is not done, then the horse is declared to 'hate bits'
Even if he is the low man on the totem pole, does not mean he won't still focus/want to be with those other hroses.If you do have another horse close by, when working with him, nEVER allow the horse to have his attention drift to his buddy. If his attention is there, it is not on you
Far as dogs, I never let any of the dogs we had over the years, ever chase horses. The current dog we have, was a rescue, who was never exposed to horses.
When I first brought him home and the horses came up, he wanted to chase them. I thus kept him on a lease, did chores that way
Once he got used to horses, he wanted to 'play with them, to the point of almost getting me bucked off on a colt , by leaping at his face while I was loping him. He soon learned, 'out' when I was working a colt in the outside arena, and then learned to go trail riding with me, now perfectly respecting horses, and I can trust him to not ever chase a horse, even when I am not home
This is so very important if you have both dogs and horses!
No, you do not use tough techniques on a horse like this, but you use balance and set clear and firm boundaries
There is a time to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard, but it has to be clear , and fit the action, so the horse has a clear association to what is being corrected
Thus, providing he has no physical problem turning left, the way I would make the wrong choice of turning right the difficult choice, would be to get after him with my right leg, and make him turn left, in an 'ask, tell, demand'
It was his choice that I had to go to demand. Next time, I give him a choice to respond tot hat light ask, thus making the right thing easy
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post #47 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Physically, he has absolutely no mouth issues. We eliminated that first. I will probably never put a bit in his mouth again. There's no need for it, IMO, and it makes the problem exponentially worse with this particular horse.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #48 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 03:26 PM
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Didn't read all the replies but just wanted to say I agree with everyone saying trick training. I've had A LOT of success with it. My gelding now literally lines himself up perfectly no matter where I am standing, which is super handy when out riding anywhere. I'm short, he's tall, so it has made my life a lot easier. Had the same experience with two other green horses. I use one treat initially after they have lined themselves up, and then another once I am onboard and they are standing and waiting for a cue to move forwards. Doesn't take very long for them to click, especially if they are food orientated.

I also agree that you should be practicing mounting even on days that you are not planning to actually ride. Think of it as ground work because really that is what it is.
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post #49 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, he's food oriented. More like 'snack' oriented. Common greeting now is: Wassup, snackhead!?

For treats, he'll do all sorts of things on the ground for me.

I'm going to start using them under saddle too... and yes, practicing the mounting - not just for both our sakes, but for the other three we ride regularly, two of which are fairly tall, even for me, and I'm 5'9".

IF he wasn't so.. I don't know. Damaged but willing to try, willing to learn, I may have given up on him. Honestly, the week of the day he made his 180 on trusting me, I was looking to go ahead and sell him, because he wouldn't let anyone get near him. Not for love nor money nor sweet feed.

Except his rearing (which he's now quit and was a result of any kind of bit in his mouth) he's never ever done anything aggressive. He's never pawed, never kicked, never bucked. He's bolted once and our blue heeler pup was still in his Can't Not Nip Everyone's Heels stage.

I lie, he's pawed once, but I don't think he was aiming for me, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, talking to my dad, making him stand and wait while I was on the ground at my dad's house, holding a rein. An immediate stern HEY! NO SIR! and that was the end of it. He's never done it again.

Anyway. He's damaged. I'm unraveling someone else's mess, and I'm going on intuition and trying different approaches to see what works best for him (Which may or may not work for other horses, but if they work on him, good). I've gotten some sound advice, and a lot of advice that may be sound for more stable horses, but that I don't feel will help him, but the advice is still appreciated.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."

Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 07-11-2017 at 03:39 PM.
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post #50 of 63 Old 07-11-2017, 03:41 PM
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Re the original mounting issue/hip checking you and the way you mount... have you tried using his mane and the horn rather than grabbing the cantle as you raise up/swing over? Sometimes, when you grab the rear of the saddle and pull to mount, the saddle turns a bit and the bars are torqued into the wither. If you use the mane and horn, yes, there might be some pull at the shoulder/wither, but you aren't turning the saddle.

Just my thoughts....that he might be anticipating that pull, so turns into it.

Courage is taking just one more step...
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