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Horse that pulls away while mounting

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  • Horse that pulls away while mounting

    There is a girl at my barn with a middle aged thoroughbred who has been having issues with him backing up and/or away from the mounting block. He is fine while someone is holding him, but he does it for anyone who rides him. Any suggestions? Thank you!

  • #2
    I've had good luck with just having a mounting lesson. Bring the horse to the block. Attempt to mount. As soon as the horse moves, correct him gently by saying 'whoa', and return him to the start position. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I've never had it fail, the horse is usually just anticipating the walking off and doesn't really understand you want him to stand there.
    Oh, and after he stands for you to get on, get off immediately, give him a treat and some rubs. If he's really bad about it, and it took forever to get to that point, just stop for the day, or only ride for a bit. I've never had to do more than one session, but with an extreme case you might.

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    • #3
      Position the mounting block so he can't move away or back up- put it next to a jump or in the corner of the ring.

      Comment


      • #4
        My old ammy horse used to do that and it drove me crazy! I would always have someone hold him for me, and once I got on, I made her keep holding him and make him wait a few minutes before walking off. After about 6 weeks, he learned to stand. DO NOT FEED TREATS at the mounting block, which someone had suggested.

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        • #5
          It definitely could be a wiggly horse/training issue. Maybe it's just the Pre-Vet student in me, but I never rule out a chance it could be back pain. Hard to say without seeing it ourselves, but I've seen plenty of riders CLUNK down onto the saddle when they mount and the horses (rightfully so) learn that the mounting block is not a fun place to stand patiently Just a thought.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by saltnpepper901 View Post
            There is a girl at my barn with a middle aged thoroughbred who has been having issues with him backing up and/or away from the mounting block. He is fine while someone is holding him, but he does it for anyone who rides him. Any suggestions? Thank you!
            I agree with just returning him to the block over and over again.... you can also do a "mounting lesson" at the END of your ride. Most horses are more willing to stand still after a work out, and once you get on/off a few times, you can reward him by putting him away.

            It can be helpful to work on this issues on days when you are not planning on riding; just walk up to the block, stand, pat, and then walk away... then up to the block, get up on the block, pat, and then walk away... etc. Just getting him to relax with that part using an approach/retreat method. Even go as far as grabbing some mane and lifting your leg as if to put it in the stirrup, and then a little hopping as if getting ready to mount. Then giving a pat and stepping down and leading him away.

            You might try using a taller step for mounting lessons to reduce the strain on the horse's back.
            Jigga:
            Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Staish14 View Post
              I've seen plenty of riders CLUNK down onto the saddle when they mount and the horses (rightfully so) learn that the mounting block is not a fun place to stand patiently Just a thought.
              this was exactly my first thought....

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thank you!

                Thanks for all your suggestions i'll print this out and show her.

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                • #9
                  My horse did this and it drove me nuts. What really put me and my coach over the edge was when one day she was giving me a leg up so I could hack home from my lesson and my horse flipped himself around and trotted off, leaving me winded on the ground. The advice I got, which worked was as follows: bring him up to the mounting block, place foot in stirrup, if he moves, immediately correct him. If he stands put some weight in the stirrup then back off and praise. Do this over again a few times until he stands still with the pressure in the stirrup then mount up. What I have also done is dismounted halfway through my ride and then test him by remounting, that way he knows dismounting doesn't mean end of a ride.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have this issue with my horse, who is a complete doll with his ground manners in all other respects. (Well, he doesn't like his face bathed but it's minor compared to this.) I have tried EVERYTHING I know and everything I've ever heard of, had my vet check his back, and he improves for awhile, and then...not so much. Actually, he IS worlds better than when I got him, but he is still not where I want him. And he regresses periodically. He is really a tough case. And he DOES NOT respond at all well to punishment over this.

                    What works best with him is a treat. ONE treat. I show it to him, make sure he gets a real good look and smell, put it back in my pocket.When he starts dancing around when I put my foot in the stirrup, I stop immeditately, show him the treat again. Only when he stands still and I can get on without struggling does he get the treat. This also cures the other problem I have of him blasting off in a trot as soon as (or before) my butt touches the saddle. He knows the treat is coming. He holds still until I tell him to move off, apparently on the chance there might be another one. This horse does think! Holding still and waiting for the treat once I'm sitting there is perfect. The connection between holding still and helping me get up there is weaker, but it appears there is some dim understanding.

                    I stopped doing this when I was using a figure eight cavesson and he just couldn't chew! Also, he had improved, and there's just so much negativity about giving treats from the saddle, and even in general. But lately I've just been forced back to it. And it seems like he remembers, gets real excited and you can see his eyes light up like he's thinking, oh NOW there's something in this for ME again! You'd like to think maybe they'd just enjoy a nice ride, but...let's not kid ourselves. I love my job, but I still wouldn't do it without the paycheck
                    Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For horses that tend to get stupid at the mounting block, I'll spend half an hour parking them next to it and just stepping up on the block, stepping right off, and going to their head for some pet and praise if they stand still. After a few times of that (and they're standing still after I stand for a few moments longer on the block), I'll step up on the block, fiddle with the saddle for a moment, tug on the stirrups, etc., then get off the block again and praise. Next step is putting the foot in the stirrup for a moment (but not mounting), getting off the block and praise. Until they're standing on a loose rein for all of this, I don't attempt to actually mount.

                      It might require some longeing first, but few things irk me more than bad mounting block manners... it translates to bad manners overall as far as I'm concerned, and I'm willing to out-stubborn my horse to deal with it if necessary.
                      *friend of bar.ka

                      "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And once he's learned to stand still, it still has to be reinforced every time you get on. If the rider starts jumping on and dashing off right away, or getting on even though the horse is still moving just a bit, the horse will revert.

                        Good luck!
                        ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Anselcat View Post
                          And once he's learned to stand still, it still has to be reinforced every time you get on. If the rider starts jumping on and dashing off right away, or getting on even though the horse is still moving just a bit, the horse will revert.

                          Good luck!
                          Guilty as charged....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by saltnpepper901 View Post
                            There is a girl at my barn with a middle aged thoroughbred who has been having issues with him backing up and/or away from the mounting block. He is fine while someone is holding him, but he does it for anyone who rides him. Any suggestions? Thank you!
                            shorten the rein on the opposite side so his head is turned away slightly when you take up the reins and ask for him to stand sounds like hes taking the P as hes old and should know whats what

                            and ask her to ease herself into the saddle not plonk in like a sack of spuds as that will make the horse shoot forwards or back away and also to lift her leg higher than his bum ie not catching him in the croup
                            when mounting as that can make a horse back off to

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by midnightdream View Post
                              My horse did this and it drove me nuts. What really put me and my coach over the edge was when one day she was giving me a leg up so I could hack home from my lesson and my horse flipped himself around and trotted off, leaving me winded on the ground. The advice I got, which worked was as follows: bring him up to the mounting block, place foot in stirrup, if he moves, immediately correct him. If he stands put some weight in the stirrup then back off and praise. Do this over again a few times until he stands still with the pressure in the stirrup then mount up. What I have also done is dismounted halfway through my ride and then test him by remounting, that way he knows dismounting doesn't mean end of a ride.
                              I second this method, it has never failed.

                              For those that are really bratty, try the above method. But, if they try to move at all, immediately make him walk briskly in a tight circle around the mounting block. Then, let him stand next to it and slowly start the process of mounting: foot in the stirrup, then out. Foot in the stirrup, weight in the stirrup, etc. If they move again its off to the brisk circles (very small). They learn that the only place they can stand quietly and comfortably is next to the mounting block. Of course, once they behave laud them like there's no tomorrow.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
                                sounds like hes taking the P as hes old and should know whats what
                                Just 'cause he's old doesn't mean he should know how to stand, if no one has ever taught him. If the rider accepts the horse moving around and just deals with it, the horse may never know that he's doing it wrong.

                                Not saying the OP's friend does this, just that I think we (and I include myself!) too often assume "oh he does this every day, he should know how to do it right", when in fact all he knows how to do is the way he's always done it!
                                ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I inherited a ride on a pretty well-known hunter who spent many years (10+) not walking, but running off as the rider mounted. Maybe he was just older and more compliant by the time I got him, but the following 3 things made him stand like a rock after almost no time:

                                  1. He was VERY girthy, which was a surprise to all who knew him for years. Slow girthing as we did boots, final grooming, bridle, etc. and a trot in hand after the girth was tight enough.

                                  2. Treats just after mounting (while sitting lightly).

                                  3. After I was sure everything was right with the physical situation, I used his good training to my advantage by letting him know it wasn't okay to move at the mounting block (i.e. yelled at him.

                                  I really think he was just "cold backed" and wasn't ever given the chance to get it right.

                                  Good luck!

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