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  1. #1
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    Default Fastest way to teach OTTB to halt/stand?

    So I have a wonderful OTTB mare who has been a broodmare for the last 5 years and I am now bringing back into light work. She's wonderful and mellow in the walk and trot and out on the trails (she's going to be hubbys horse and he doesn't ride-yet!).

    Her only trouble is she won't stand still to either mount or while mounted. I would guess she wasn't trained to which is no big deal. However I would like to teach her to stand and was wondering what the best method was to do this?

    TIA
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  2. #2
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    Default OTTB needs help with standing/halt!

    So I have a wonderful OTTB mare who has been a broodmare for the last 5 years and I am now bringing back into light work. She's wonderful and mellow in the walk and trot and out on the trails (she's going to be hubbys horse and he doesn't ride-yet!).

    Her only trouble is she won't stand still to either mount or while mounted. I would guess she wasn't trained to which is no big deal. However I would like to teach her to stand and was wondering what the best method was to do this? I have only started youngsters the last few years so am not sure how to go about it with a mature horse unless I just ignore the fact that she's already started and go right back to the basics of standing there and getting up down etc?

    TIA
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  3. #3
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    take up the reins in the normal way ok. when standing on the mounting block then adujsut the outside rein so it shorten than the inside rein so her head bends slightly away from you
    then say stand in big voice so she knows you mean business, and gentle get on making sure you lift your leg well up and over her arse and dont plonk down in the saddle but gently get into the saddle as in slow and and nice
    so many peole have a problem with youngster becuase they will just plonk themselves into the
    saddle likea sack of spuds which is inpolite to the horse -
    you have manners and you want you horse to have manners so be respectful and sit in micely

    then the horse wont shoot forwards - or not stand for you when getting on


    its using the art of being respected and asking politely ahorse will don anything if you ask it nicely

    if shes still moves of increase the bend by shortening your outside rein more whilse you get on

    most people move reins a lot when getting on or off as jingle jangle it into position or fiddle with them
    ok, be it young or old this when the horse as time to think and antispate your moves to as you have given them that opportunity to do so
    so obvouis anwser is dont let them if she goes to walk of say no and mean it
    it normal takes a couple of times to get on with a mature horse a you dont know there background
    and if the horse is to be re schooled for exsample as no doubt thats what i think you doing
    with this perticular horse, then its obvious its gotten away witha few things ok



  4. #4
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    GLS- I think you're kinda missing the point. If she stood at the mounting block there would be no issue. She doesn't stand still period! She 'fusses' not in a bad way just like she thinks she's expected to move. If you bring her up to the mounting block she wiggles and will swing one way or another or walk forwards or backwards (even if you stand on the ground with her for practice).

    On the ground she does the same thing, she does not stand to even let you get your foot in the stirrup, just walks around.

    If you ask her to stand she gets 'upset' throws her head and fidgets.

    This mare is not being 'naughty' as such, my guess is jockeys were thrown up at the walk and she kept going.

    I am thinking I should go back to treating her as if she weren't broke already and do the stuff I would with a baby.
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  5. #5
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    Well, for one thing, make sure she's balanced before you mount. Otherwise, you can't help but move around.

    So I'd ask her to stand and praise her. Maybe you have to do this in bits and pieces, because at the track (if she was raced) they hop on while you're moving. And TBs are smart, we don't forget nothing!
    Special Horses - equine volunteer to assist equines in need!
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  6. #6
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    If she's hasn't just come in from turnout, it may help to let her blow off some steam either longing or free longing first.

    Then, if you don't have a helper to stand at her head, facing her into a corner will help her get the idea. (A helper AND a corner is a bonus. ) ...Plus lots of patience and reasonable expectations. By that, I mean be happy and get on when she stops moving for just a moment - don't expect her to learn to hold still for very long in the beginning. When she gets praised for being just a little "right", she'll start to put two and two together.

    Also - when you do mount... settle gently onto her back and sit tall and still for a bit before you pick up your stirrups. If you immediately lean forward or shift to find them, the change in balance can encourage her to move off.

    Good luck!
    Athletic Horses. Educated Riders.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackSprats Mom View Post
    GLS- I think you're kinda missing the point. If she stood at the mounting block there would be no issue. She doesn't stand still period! She 'fusses' not in a bad way just like she thinks she's expected to move. If you bring her up to the mounting block she wiggles and will swing one way or another or walk forwards or backwards (even if you stand on the ground with her for practice).

    On the ground she does the same thing, she does not stand to even let you get your foot in the stirrup, just walks around.

    If you ask her to stand she gets 'upset' throws her head and fidgets.

    This mare is not being 'naughty' as such, my guess is jockeys were thrown up at the walk and she kept going.

    I am thinking I should go back to treating her as if she weren't broke already and do the stuff I would with a baby.

    ok, matey,

    then go right back to basics and ground work,
    put a head collar on the mare as i can tell you frustrated a bit with her
    so lets start of by undeertsanding her back ground abit more,
    then eventally you can do the above what i said ok

    when a horse comes of the track be raced or not or didnt make the grade of a race horse regardless of type of racing they are tuagh to run and fed to run
    so this game is all new to her as everything in life so far has changed from rountine to feeding to exercise to tack to enviroment to stables to fields to woners the whole lot in her life has changed so thehorse is confused and bewildered hence the naughtyness which isnt really being naughty shes just doesnt know what to make of thinngs so lets help her by helping you 1st then the horse

    as you said you started of of in this game of re schooling and ssuch like ok

    so point 1

    the weight of you compared to a jockey is gonna be much heavier for her
    the saddle is to, as a racing saddle much lighter than an english or and again with a western one each saddle lays differently on her back which there fore would beusing diffrent mussles and obviously different pressure points on her back

    point 2. most stables would probably put the horse in cross ties or handle her quickly
    so the horse wouldnt nesscarily learn how to stand as most trianers get the jockey leg up and go and just hold the horse for a quick succession till the jockeys on as most have laods of neds and its all done in quick succession as they trian more than one at anyone time

    so lets start of by you putting a head collar on her, with a bit of bailig twine attached to the ring underneath the chin, of the lenght of your palm, so when bringing in you can grab her quick if need be until she learns to come to you
    dont whatever you do offer treats or feed she needs to come to you for you


    then at the hitch rail place a loop of baling twine - so that you put a lead rope thorough it
    and tie her to that eventually as she will stand

    so - now to trian the horse to stand, get a lunge rein and place the horse at the hitch rial pass through the lunge rein and keep it folded
    so we are going to groom the horse on the left side ok so with the left hand keep the folded lunge line and with the right hand start to groom the horse
    if the horse doesnt stand and moves back wards what ever let her move you have the lenght of the lunge for her to do so, dont say anything to the horse
    let her move the wway she wants to go, if backwards for exsample she will only take a few steps, so, once she stopped bring her back to the hitch rail to what we call the start position pat and praze the horse and stand in middle tone of voice then reward by brushing the horse

    if however the horse continues to move backwards then use the lunge to pull downwards as you would if its shorter lead rope yank it downwards twice and say no in big voice
    and agian palce back to start position pat and praze and reward with a brush
    continue to groom as the horse moves if she s figetity only then just move with her
    and coacx her back to start position ie keep placing her at start dont say anything just groom the horse

    grooming to a horse is a trust issue as grooming in ahorses mind is one of freindship
    so to win her over you have to ein her mind by contining to groom and rewqard her by grooming you are placing in her mind its a good idea to stand still as she get rewarded by a groom eventually the horse will stand still as you be amazed at how quick that goes in and you then swap the lunge for a lead rope and treat as you would any normal horse at the hitch rial

    whilse you doing this you can also encourage that bonding by picking up her feet
    doing exactly the same thing with the lunge line, always pick up the lf as most farriers start with lf the lf then rh ending with rf,
    dont pcik out her feet to begin with, just pick the foot up and hold it for a few seconds do each foot, eventually you can then move on to tapping the foot with you hand then with a back of a brush then with a small hammer in readiness for the farrier

    picking up feet is a bonding issue as thr trust developes so the horse will learn she gets rewarded with a groom for picking up her feet again this instills in the horses mind its great idea
    then put the horse in the stable or out in the field and let her have time to think
    and work it out that you mean her no harm

    feed her only on hay at this time as you not working her and you have enough problems as it is with out having a hot horse or one thats gassy if you need to give her something as others are beig fed then just give her chaff, as got nothing in it to blown her brians awya by givcing her the energy to do so.

    so thats point 2 taken care off
    ppoint 1 long rein her, in your saddle that you are going to use, so the horse learns basic
    commands and is forwards and striaght and balanced give her the time tro adjsut to her saddle
    and the weight of of it

    then bring her into the school and work in walk then trot then canter using the half halts in everysingle transition so the horse is lengthening and shortening her strides and to help her become balanced and focused

    feeed a ccroding to the work you are giving her

    horses love rounitnes so try and stick to a rountine so that this horse has a foundation to build her trust on with you

    and i have to say what i said in origial post still applys you said the horse walks of and fuses
    that becuase you let her

    the easy answer is dont let her anttispate your moves you have to be much quicker and sharper
    in your thinking the horse was b/mare so has learnt alot to how to advade or get away with stuff
    this why its also important that you lead from the chin and bring in and turn out and teach ehr to stand at any time so i have given you the very basic easy to do training method

    if however the mare continues to have your no, then buy a small boys water pistol
    when she naughty qucik shot of water is a quick sharp shock and say no in big voice
    water dont hurt

    but in all horses you have to win there mind over in others words youplace into there mind its agod idea as to do xyz and then let them sleep on it time and patience reaps rrewards
    Last edited by goeslikestink; Oct. 17, 2008 at 10:45 PM.



  8. #8
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    You got good advice from Goeslikestink in the dressage forum. Maybe not a FAST solution, but a sound one.



  9. #9
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    thank you beasmom i beleive in time and patience always have done as itr pays off three folds never rush the horse repesct it and ask politely is always my motto they soon learn and that trust builds up little steps make a staircase



  10. #10
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    put a head collar on the mare as i can tell you frustrated a bit with her
    Sorry if it comes across this way, I'm not at all frustrated with her. I think she's being a star at the moment and am completely in awe of how well she takes everything!

    I've just never worked with OTTB and was wondering if there was a tried and true method of helping her overcome this as I realize that its just a hole in her training.

    I should mention in cross ties she stands like a dream.

    I'm kinda tempted by the idea of using a longe line through a hitching rail to help her get the concept of just standing while I mess with putting my feet in the stirrups etc (not tying her!).
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  11. #11
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    For standing still to mount for an OTTB or any horse that hasn't been taught the skill, I prefer to school the tactic at the end of a session, to start. Work as usual, dismount, get back on. Build on that. Interspersed with plain old halts during work, a nanosecond for starters and building on that. Some OTTBs need a fake 'blowout,' a hand gallop in the arena, so they think they've done their thing for the day and then become calmer and easier to work on the little details.

    Schooling the halt and stand on the ground, when leading to and from paddocks, is helpful too.



  12. #12
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    I had a mare that would not stand still for mounting. I would put my foot in the stirrup (mounting block or from the ground, didn't matter) and as soon as she felt the initial pressure she would start walking. What worked for her was making her walk a little circle around me until she wanted to stop (didn't take more than 30 seconds at a time). As soon as I would try to mount, if she started walking again I would remove my foot and put her back on the little circle. When she finally stopped and let me get on without her taking one step I praised her profusely! It took less than a week to be completely rid of the issue.



  13. #13
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    I like to use sugar cubes or something similar for this issue with a high strung horse. That way you don't upset them further with discipline, but use positive reinforcement instead.

    Teach her that the word whoa + stand still (even briefly) = sugar cube. And keep expecting her to stand longer and longer before she gets it.

    I used this with my top horse who had ADD and could NOT stand still when he was young, either on the ground or under saddle. In fact we had NO halt in dressage at the beginning. He was so high strung, his feet just couldn't stop moving. And of course correcting him just made him worse because it made him even more anxious. So I would halt and immediately reach down and give him a sugar cube. And it was only a matter of weeks before he loved to halt. And then I had to stop doing that, because he would halt at X and turn his head and wait for his sugar cube!



  14. #14
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    I second the sugar cubes.

    I had the same problem recently. My current project refused to stand still for either mounting or just halting when I got him a couple of months ago. He danced all over when mounting, and if I asked him to stand still when I was astride, he acted like he was going to explode. Otherwise a calm and cooperative horse.

    I would just say "whoa" when getting on the mounting block, and if he stood still for a moment (probably inadvertantly at first), I gave him a little treat. Once I got on, if he stood still, I gave him a little treat.

    It only took about 3 sessions and the problem was solved. Now he stands like a statue.



  15. #15
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    No need to spend months or go back to basics. I'd stay away from the longe line, only because I have seen that done - it panicked the horse and it went up over backwards. If a horse is really restless and nervous, trying to restrain it right off can lead to a wreck. My first horse was very bad to get on, would start bucking as you tried to get on - snubbing him led to a rather spectacular wreck.

    While in the stall or leading the horse, just a few times, rub the horse's shoulder or withers where she really likes a scratch. Give her a treat that she likes.

    When you get off the horse, turn her to face the wall or put her in a corner or the st where you usually get off, positioning her so she can't run off. Then spend about a half a second rubbing her withers. Just do that for a couple days, expanding it out into a scratch and rub so eventually she is standing there about 1 second, loose reins, rub, and then you hop off. If you need a little more help, turn her head using one rein, leave the other loose so she can bend her neck, and offer her a treat. Get her to associate the treat with loose reins and standing still, and if need be, with bending her neck, gradually, over a couple days.

    Then just start playing with her. You'll be able to drop the reins and rub her neck and she'll stand for just a second right before you get off.

    Then just start playing with it as you get on. Put her somewhere where it's not as easy for her to walk off, such as in a corner or facing the wall.

    that's about what I did with my horse, a friend of mine had a horse tht was mch worse, about completely impossible to get on, and did the same, same result. Horsey now stands on a loose rein with its neck stretched out very relaxed, while you get on.



  16. #16
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    slc2-- did i even mention on the lunge line to get on the horse and mount it

    NO I DID NOT

    its purely to instill the trust of the human to the horse via grooming as a reward as grooming in a horse herd society is how they meet and greet freinds you can use the grooming sessions
    to bond with your horse and instill the powerful issue of trust

    as i said the quickest way is in post 1 - and its how you get on the horse so it doesnt shoot forwards if you can collect your reins up in the oppersite side of when you mounting to to the head away from you, she wont go forwards its a simple thing to do
    and if you get on nice and easy and not plonk yourself into the saddle again the horse wont go forwards


    treats rewards a bad behaviour and can make it ten times worse i dont beleive in treats i beleive in pats and scratches and using my tones of voice by saying stand, and good girl pat and praze the horse is a reward without sweeties

    and just out of interest op i have trianed and re habbed and reschooled and break horses in all my life i have done more horses than most have hot dinners,

    rewards -- lets tlak about rewards what you can use--
    a rewardis grooming, picking up feet, feeding, stables, fields paddocks comfy tack and having an nice attitude they are all available in and around the yard and you yourself are a reward to the horse as the horse is in a good home getting xyz rewards also includes mamangement and welfare and exercise all rewarding to the horse so use them



  17. #17
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    i never said you mentioned a longe line. maybe your horse is getting a little too tall.

    YOU may not 'believe in treats' but quite a few people here do, as do many dressage trainers as well as very successful animal trainers in general. when it works, it works.



  18. #18
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    I just finished doing this, and did a lot of what cocopuff mentions. The firts few times I mounted, I had someone hold the mare. When I did get on, I always walked off on a completely loose rein. Nice and relaxed, calm and no stresses. After about three tries with a helper, I started mounting on my own with no help. Adelaide always wanted to walk a few steps forward or back, and as such, I said 'stand"..as soon as she listened, I praised her like crazy. I would then put my foot in stirrup and repeat. I never, ever, swung my leg over if she moved a step..just kept going through the motions of stand. If she took a step backward, I placed my hand on her rump to say "don't go back" and said the word "stand" again. When she stood, I mounted, walked on with rein at buckle, and dished out the praise. I didn't always continue with work, either. If she was really good, I just took a few steps and called it a day.
    This went on for a few rides, and now, I can mount that mare, just two months off the track, in an open field with other horses in work. She knows what to do. Mind you, my mare is extremely smart, the quickest learner I have ever come across. That helps a lot, as I'm sure it's her brains and not my training that have gotten us this far.



  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackSprats Mom View Post

    Her only trouble is she won't stand still to either mount or while mounted. I would guess she wasn't trained to which is no big deal. However I would like to teach her to stand and was wondering what the best method was to do this?

    TIA
    I use sugar lumps..."whoa" equals a nice treat either standing or mounted...as they "get" it then the lumps come less often but are never removed...

    best
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackSprats Mom View Post
    So I have a wonderful OTTB mare who has been a broodmare for the last 5 years and I am now bringing back into light work. She's wonderful and mellow in the walk and trot and out on the trails (she's going to be hubbys horse and he doesn't ride-yet!).

    Her only trouble is she won't stand still to either mount or while mounted. I would guess she wasn't trained to which is no big deal.
    She thinks she is being good and giving you good service, that's the way they learned it at the track. I would be careful not to abruptly tell her otherwise, she will think you are the one with a HUGE mental problem and you are in desparate need of help.

    I complained once to an eventer my OTTB didn't even bother to slow down at the mounting block after months of general training, and she wisely said one of these days he'll figure it out.

    In his case she was very wise not to make a big issue of it, he did figure it out magnificantly, and you can leave him at the mounting block, walk around with the reins left on his neck, and he'll stay without ever being asked.

    I think she needs to grasp the concept, but don't try anything rough. She is sure she is being a good girl for you. Try to teach her to halt at the block without you mounting up , just a moment or two lesson, then that's enough for one day.



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