The Horse Forum banner

Ex racer - mounting problems... how do i train her to the mounting block?

6707 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Nanette Levin
Hi there,

Here's a small history on my tb mare, she was raced as a 2 year old... only 3 races ... trotted past the finish line on the last race... then was sold, and sold on again to the owners i bought her from, who had no idea what to do with her as they'd only ever had ponies and they put her up for sale and a noivce girl came to ride her and kicked her in the side as she mounted and maisie bolted off and the girl didn't get back on so they sent her to a selling yard to be sold and get her schooled a little, this is where i pop up i when to view her and she was as good as gold so i thought yeah she seems prefect so i got her, bought her home and a few days later lunged her and when to get on, with a friend holding her as soon as i put my weight in to the saddle she reared up and bolted off...

after getting her back, teeth, and saddle check with no problems i put her on 2 months rest to make sure she settled in before stressing her, before winter i got on her a few time without much trouble a few rears and bucks but was alright then the winter came and had to stop work.... then spring reappeared and she's back to stage one, scared of the mounting block, saddle and riders

so basically i wanted to know how to start her back to being mounting and how i get her use to using a mounting block again....

I will say i've had her back, saddle and teeth rechecked and they are currently all good and also i have broken in ponies before but Maisie is a 16hh tb not a 12.2h pony :)

I've also purchased the retraining of racerhorses 'racing to riding' dvd but it's yet to come.... so am looking for tips and advice, ALSO has anyone else had this problem with there horses?
Not open for further replies.
1 - 1 of 17 Posts
I admit I didn't go through all of the responses so apologies if this has been suggested. First desensitize to the mounting block. Use a round pen or other small enclosure..what you want to do is limit how far away the horse can get form the "scary" object. Put the block in the middle and just let the horse roam around. Horses are naturally curious and eventually he will walk up to it, sniff, paw, snort....

Do this again, or at the same time, with a saddle on their back..get them used to the saddle and the mounting block. Obviously if the horse is prone to rolling, use old tack :) If they have already seen a block and have been tacked up several times this part won't take long.

Someone else mentioned the next step, the old, walk up to the block, stand, get a rub and trrewat, move two steps back/sideways, you reposition, rub, treat, move the block, reposition them and get them to stand still, rub and treat..put one foot on, if they stand still, major praise like they just won the Derby, get the idea.

My horse was like this. He would only stand for the block if it was in the corner. The first time I worked with him in the middle of the ring it took 90 minutes and one heck of a lot of treats and he finally stood still. We still haven't beat it 100% but he is getting better. I did use Clinton Anderson's technique of tight circles and backing but due to a possible (even the vet isn't sure) front suspensory strain, I hesitate now to use that particualr technique, at least on mine, since neither the vet nor I can figure out what caused it.

As for the riding, reintroduce the mare to weight on her back. Lean on her back, not actually mounting. While laying there, rub all over, praise her for being still. Repeat as needed. The idea is to get her used to the weight and the activity and get her to realize she doesn't have to "run" when weight is on her sounds like she may still be carrying around race track memories where weight on her back meant "go really fast."

The important part is to remain safe and if necessary, locate a trainer who can help you retrain her.
See less See more
1 - 1 of 17 Posts
Not open for further replies.