Walking off while getting on! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-26-2015, 02:17 PM
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That's easy to fix. Have her on a lunge line while you're trying to mount. The second she takes a step, send her out and make her trot a couple of rounds. Stop her, try to get on again. The second she moves without permission, send her out again. She'll learn quickly that it's a lot less work to just stand still. :)

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post #12 of 17 Old 11-26-2015, 06:02 PM
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^Yes, she might learn it's less 'work'... assuming also it's not uncomfortable or such to be mounted. But for a few reasons, I don't use that sort of method personally.

Firstly, horses learn best with instant reinforcement/punishment, so best to 'correct' immediately & be done with it. By the time you put your foot down(or get out of whatever mounting stage you're in) and send the horse out, let alone a circle or 2 later, it's generally too late for it to be a really effective punishment. Tends to take a number of repetitions. And the quicker you can get the Right behaviour - and reinforce THAT immediately, the better too.

Rather than just 'make the wrong thing difficult', it's also good practice IMO to 'make the Right Thing good'. That is, not just 'easy' or less hard, but rewarding for the horse.

When I want to teach a horse to stand still, getting him to move, as punishment for when he moves is a bit backwards to me(I get the idea - 'turn his dream into a nightmare' kind of thing), I prefer to *stop* the undesired behaviour - movement - asap. Put them back into position - sometimes 'strongly' may be called for - & reinforce that.

And lastly, I don't want a horse to feel 'work' is a punishment, be that on a lunge or otherwise. I don't want the horse to just stand to be mounted because that's 'the lesser evil'. I aim to teach horses that doing stuff with humans is Fun and Good for them too - it is 'Play'(albeit with strict Rules) not 'Work', not punishment or something to just be 'endured'.
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-30-2015, 07:30 AM
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Oh my gosh I hate it when horses do that . what i did when I had a horse like that is I would stand at the mounting block and pet her opposite side then slowly stand in the one stirrup(slowly get on) and when she starts walking forward ask her to halt and do a turn on haunches etc or move backwards ,she will not expect that . do something different everytime and also give her a kick if she is not listening .

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post #14 of 17 Old 12-02-2015, 01:23 PM
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A horse who walks off when mounting does so because it's been allowed to in the past. It's not a desired behavior, but I know lots of people who do not bother to correct it. Actually, my instructor actually trains her Saddleseat horses (ONLY the Saddleseat horses!) to walk off right away.

If you do not want your horse to walk off, the answer is pretty simple: don't let them walk off! How you teach them that depends on the horse. Some horses, you can mount up, sit back an say "woah" and they will stand still. If your horse does this, you can repeat this procedure over and over again until she understands that she must stand still when you get on.

Another method is to flex your horse laterally. Position yourself to mount, and ask the horse to flex to the left by keeping your left rein tight. HOLD that position as you mount, and do not release. Now you've got the horse so it can't move forward, and instead it may move sideways and spin. You must keep holding that flexion, saying "woah" and asking the horse to stop with your seat. Allow your horse to spin until it stops. Remember, stopping is the only answer you will accept! Once your horse stops, get off and repeat this until the horse does not spin while mounting at all. Some food for thought: this is the only method that works for my horse, and if I do not flex her she WILL walk off, every time. But I'd rather have a horse I need to flex each time than a horse who will take off on me. It's just become second nature when I get on her now.

Some horses might also respond to the 'backing' treatment, but I find it's really only effective if you're being incredibly firm - and have spurs on. You can try mounting, and if the horse walks off ask it to back up immediately, and quickly. You must be firm and reprimanding, so that the horse understands that having to back up quickly is a punishment for walking off. It's important when using this tactic to make the horse really MOVING its feet and working.

Just a couple of things that have worked for me in the past. Keep in mind these methods usually require repetitions to be effective.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-02-2015, 02:00 PM
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With my horse, after I got her to stand still while mounting (I don't even know how I did it, I didn't use any particular method, she just stopped after I purposely took a really long time to mount one day), she had the habit of walking off the moment I sat down in the saddle. So I used a bit of reverse psychology on her. I made her back up before we did anything else. I sat down and immediately made her back up about five steps. And then we stood still for a minute or so. After she stopped trying to move forward immediately and was willing to stand there until I told her to move I stopped asking her to back up and just made her stand there until I said it was okay to move. That was years ago. I will still on occasion make her back up when I get on just to ensure that she doesn't forget that moving off before I say so is not a good thing.

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-02-2015, 02:39 PM
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This worked for my horse who would start walking off before I was even fully in the saddle: I would tack him up and then mount. When he started to walk, I would back him and then make him stand still until he looked bored. Then I would get off and repeat until he stood still through the whole process. I remember it felt like it took a long time for him to learn, probably several weeks, but it worked!
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-02-2015, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for everything in this thread. Diva does not like to be mounted and will sometimes begin drifting when I am ready to mount her up. She also wants to walk off as soon as I'm on. I've been working to fix these issues but this gives me more to work with!
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