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Mounting without a mounting block

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  • #21
    Originally posted by whicker View Post
    You can teach your horse to help you with the gate. Works as long as the gate is on working hinges and vaguely balanced. You may need to offer to put the latch up to an easier height.

    I can't get on and off without a tall mounting block or similar in height object. (Back injury)
    I used clicker training, (positive re-enforcement) to shape the behavior I wanted the horse to do. I started by standing on the ground next to an easy,convenient gate. Every time the horse made the begining of the move toward the gate, she got a click and then a small favorite treat. By having her target my hand for the treat, I could move my hand to the gate and have her touch the gate with her nose. Every time that there was a big correct move, she got a "jackpot" of lots of treats, fed one at a time, and tons of praise. This process takes time, especially at first when the whole concept of rewarding thinking is new. Once the horse has the concept and understands the click is a cue of doing the right thing, the following things you want to teach get much, much easier.You have a 2 way communication system, so there fewer random, confusing, frustrating attempts. The horse will try harder and shut down less often.

    There is quite a bit on the net about clicker training.The version I use is the one that marine animal and zoo keepers use.

    P.m. me if you want to discuss it further.
    It would be interesting to see a video of you teaching a horse to open wide and close a wire gate while you are mounted.

    Comment


    • #22
      Well, maybe you can't clicker train a horse to cook scrambled eggs, but that doesn't mean it's not useful for the things that CAN be done, such as gates that can be opened while mounted.

      I think it's great that clicker training is mentioned more often now as a useful training technique for various uses; the more people in the equestrian world that hear about it, and may be intrigued and want to learn about it, the better. Sure, almost everything you can teach with a clicker can be taught with traditional negative reinforcement, but if you can do it with a positive reward, the horse gets a kick out of it too.

      I've actually done very little clicker work with my horses--I use it for ground manners and other tasks, rather than tricks. But I've found it's changed my horses' attitude toward me in subtle but profound ways. We are much more of a team now. They are alert to me in a way they previously were not, and cooperative in a subtly forthcoming way. It's hard to describe--it's not as if they were uncooperative before, they weren't, but it's kind of the difference between being told by your boss to Do It Now, and doing it, and not getting in trouble, vs having your boss say, "How about doing this?" and you do it enthusiastically, and your boss says, "Great Job, here's your pay!" Their eyes kinda dance, to anthropomorphize a bit. They are certainly more relaxed and confident in the clicker trained tasks than in the traditionally trained ones.

      But like any technique, it requires the trainer to learn what it's about and apply it correctly. It's actually quite demanding to do it really well, takes timing, feel, understanding what truly motivates the individual animal, and intense concentration, but the reward for the trainer is a great shared experience with the animal.

      It also appeals to me personally because it's not woo-woo in any way.
      Ring the bells that still can ring
      Forget your perfect offering
      There is a crack in everything
      That's how the light gets in.

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      • #23
        this is me on my trail horse lol (I'm on the right), best trail horse ever and getting on is a snap. he's going to be my sons so I try to get as many miles on him as possible.

        http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/..._3571665_n.jpg

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
          Here, we tease that you can tell how old the ranch owner is by the cattleguards, so he can drive around without needing to get in and out to open gates and with metal gates by each cattleguard, so when horseback it doesn't has to dismount to open gates.

          Cowboy law is that, riding up to a gate, the youngest one not a kid gets the honor to get off and open the gate.
          Kids feel very adult when they finally get to be gate openers.
          Adults feel old when they don't ever have to open gates any more.
          LOL!!! Hmm I gotta start taking my neice riding with me so I can have a gate opener She's only 5 but I could start training her up LOL!
          Play It By Heart (Player) ~ 1999 bay Arabian gelding
          Chall Struck WA (Little John) ~ 2005 chestnut Arabian gelding

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by walkers View Post
            Ok tell me why you can't open and close gates from horseback. I used to ride trail in Colorado and horses were trained to stand still,back and side pass, do whatever was necessary to open and close gates, all kinds of gates . A good horse would help with her head.
            I hear that you're riding big horses but I've opened 16 foot gates slowly backing and turns on the forehand. so what's up. Also on the equestrian with disabilities forum there was a thread on mounting problems. Decided we needed to teach our horses to bow!
            My horse better open and close the gates because I cannot mount without a block, a tree , a ditch.
            ??
            Wow, at first I was taken aback by what seemed to be an attack of some sort. But I'll give you the benefit of the misinterpretation via internet.

            I am tall, my horse is tall, my horse (even though green) will sidle next to whatever I'm standing on and wait until I mount, but due to my 1) age and 2) weight I can't scramble up and on like I used to be able to do. And maybe in Colorado all your gates are lovely metal or wood "swinging" gates. Lucky you. What I have here in NE Oregon is wire gates that have a loop wire at the bottom of the post and on the top. If you've never seen one, you won't know what I'm talking about, but please trust me, you and your horse would need to be Houdini's to go through these types of gates without dismounting.

            Someone mentioned dropping the stirrup. Genius! That probably would have done it. I just need my horse to be in a dip or there to be a rise in ground for me to stand on. I don't need a 3-step mounting block, though they are nice to use! An English saddle is pretty hard on a horses shoulders and back when a rider is mounting from the ground, even a light weight person can torque the withers.
            Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by CPO614 View Post
              this is me on my trail horse lol (I'm on the right), best trail horse ever and getting on is a snap. he's going to be my sons so I try to get as many miles on him as possible.

              http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/..._3571665_n.jpg
              Love it I keep telling myself that my next horse will be smaller, much smaller!
              Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

              Comment


              • #27
                Dropping the stirrup...lol when I was a kid riding those humongous warmbloods, I had to do that just to get my foot in the stirrup. Then I would grab the saddle quarter to hoist myself up. But once standing in the stirrup, I was still too small to get my other leg over and I would have to jump up anyway.
                Thank goodness for stoic horses, because with my (military) instructors there was no asking for a leg up or a mounting block or any kind of help. If you could not get on your horse on your own, well, you just didn't ride.

                Now I am older and still small (5'2) and I own a small (15.1) Ottb mare. But even so, I don't mount from the ground even if I can still do it (albeit very clumsily). I ALWAYS find some kind of mounting "block". The back bumper of a truck, a rock, placing my horse downhill or in a ditch, snow banks, stumps, a jump, whatever. Mare knows she has to park herself next to the "whatever " and has to let me get on that way.

                Just yesterday I was too lazy to get off and open the paddock gate, and decided to try and open it from the mare's back. And guess what...no problem!

                CPO614, my older sister has knee and back problems but loves to organize treks with her friends. So, for the longest time, she had Icelandic horses. Perfect little trail horses!
                Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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                • #28
                  No offense intended, just in a rush...sorry

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Try lowering your stirrup. I do this when there is no mounting block around.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I think my horses are so tall and I am so short that if I lowered my stirrup enough to be able to reach it, I would then be too low to swing my leg over the saddle! My 3-step mounting block is definitely my friend!
                      Tricia Veley-First Flight Farm
                      Boerne, Texas
                      830-537-4150 phone/830-537-4154 fax
                      www.firstflightfarm.com
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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by pmysliwski View Post
                        Try lowering your stirrup. I do this when there is no mounting block around.
                        Won't do you any good when you are so short you are then that much further from your horse's back.

                        I can teach a horse in half a minute to push on a gate for me, in fact, have to teach a horse not to bump a gate for me without being asked and don't need a clicker session for that.

                        As someone already mentioned, no matter what we do the KISS principle is generally the more sensible way to do most anything.

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                        • #32
                          I can easily get the gates from horseback depending on what kind of gate it is.

                          Wire gates (which we have around here) forget it. It's suicide. If the gate is chained shut - well - gotta get that one from the ground too.

                          My new horse is 17.2h. There ain't no way I'm getting my arthritic, medicated body back into the saddle if I dismount; even with mounting aids.

                          So I have simply decided to never get a gate again, and never to fall off in the middle of a hayfield ever again. You see? It's that simple.
                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                          -Rudyard Kipling

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                            I can easily get the gates from horseback depending on what kind of gate it is.

                            Wire gates (which we have around here) forget it. It's suicide. If the gate is chained shut - well - gotta get that one from the ground too.

                            My new horse is 17.2h. There ain't no way I'm getting my arthritic, medicated body back into the saddle if I dismount; even with mounting aids.

                            So I have simply decided to never get a gate again, and never to fall off in the middle of a hayfield ever again. You see? It's that simple.


                            The Master of a foxhunt I was riding with made a very young me "honorary whipper in" and gave me beautiful hunt buttons (I still have) to add to my hunt coat.
                            I was very proud of that and when I asked what that honor meant, he said I was now the one to be there to open and close gates for him.

                            Now, that bone handle on the hunting whip does help to lift a wooden gate's handle and open and close gates from tall horses.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                              he said I was now the one to be there to open and close gates for him.
                              Yes, that is what juniors are for.

                              And if you're really good with your hunt whip (I'm not), you can also use it to pick up a dropped glove. I've seen it done but haven't ever gotten the hang of it. So I just decided never to drop anything ever again.
                              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                              -Rudyard Kipling

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                There is no shame in walking with your horse until you find a place to get back on. We ride the trails all the time, either on our own or with friends. Invariably someone in the group has to get down for something at some point, and can't get back up (I'd use the gate if it was a gate opening issue!). If I ride my DH's horse (he's 17.1) I need a good size log to get back up. We just walk, until we spot a way to get back up. It's good to get my knees going, better for my guy's back to wait until I have a good mount, and it gives us both a little break.
                                "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                <>< I.I.

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                                • #36
                                  Well the last time I took my Saintly Appendix for a trail ride the barn owner's hubby got dumped next door. I had to fly off and grab the horse. Than checked on him. Got him back on and had to figure out how to get on my horse. I got on him from the ground and apologized to him 50 times.

                                  My new horse is 17 hands and is just now getting used to being mounted. He used to hold his breath when I would mount him. I will not be getting on him from the ground.

                                  We have a new horse coming in for training/sales. She is only 15.2 and I can't WAIT to ride her. I will be able to get on her from the ground. Losing 60 lbs tends to make you a bit more lithe in the mounting process.
                                  OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
                                  Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
                                  Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Gestalt View Post
                                    Love it I keep telling myself that my next horse will be smaller, much smaller!

                                    hehe I bought him in 07 as a resale. He didn't canter with a rider, cost $350. I figured I would teach him to canter then sell him for a profit. Well now he wtc, jumps, trail rides, goes cross country, has a lead change, and is beginner safe! He has a home for life and I can't wait for my son to be ready for more than pony rides! Until then I steal him for trail rides. Unfortunately that means I get ALL the gates lol.

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                                    • #38
                                      They make something that easily attaches to your stirrup (slides into the iron) and helps you mount. Same concept as making your stirrup longer just without the fuss. Also, I think that it gives you more length. Hop on, slide it out of the iron and away you go! I just can't remember for the life of me what they are called.

                                      Someone I used to trail ride with also taught her horse to stretch out like he was going to pee. Tapped his hooves and he'd do it, she said it was much easier for her to mount.

                                      Bummer you have wire gates. There is no getting around dismounting to open those. My horse would be mad about that. He can't for the life of him figure out why he can't open every gate we need to go through. Apparently, I am not quick enough for him.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by walkers View Post
                                        Ok tell me why you can't open and close gates from horseback. I used to ride trail in Colorado and horses were trained to stand still,back and side pass, do whatever was necessary to open and close gates, all kinds of gates . A good horse would help with her head.
                                        I hear that you're riding big horses but I've opened 16 foot gates slowly backing and turns on the forehand. so what's up. Also on the equestrian with disabilities forum there was a thread on mounting problems. Decided we needed to teach our horses to bow!
                                        My horse better open and close the gates because I cannot mount without a block, a tree , a ditch.
                                        ??
                                        I have at least one gate that is locked shut. The lock is about a foot off the ground and that, coupled with putting in the combo, is a bit too much to do from horseback...

                                        Plus, maneuvering to open some of the gates I go through on trails on horseback would place my horse much too close to barbed wire for comfort. I have no problem hopping off and mounting from the ground.
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