HARD TO MOUNT HORSE

Scenario Number One: When you first bought your horse, he always stood quietly, while you mounted, now he moves away before you can either get on or fully get seated in the saddle.
Scenario Number Two: You are training your own horse, and he is doing most things right, except standing still for you to mount. He learns quickly and has no spook in him at all.

In both cases here, lets not blame the horse, okay. Lets take a look at ourselves first. In the first case, obviously at one time, he knew to stand still to be mounted. Hmmm, so why not now? In the second case, he seems willing to learn and behaves very well under saddle once you are mounted, he just won't stand still when you are getting on.

One of three main things are the problem here. One, you don't realize you are doing it, but when you put your left foot in the stirrup and begin to swing up, you are digging the toe of your boot into his ribs. This hurts and also cues him to move. Two, you don't realize it, but you are pulling the saddle crooked, over to the side, when you get on. This pinches him under the saddle and also his tender skin under the cinch. This hurts and he moves in annoyance or he moves in an attempt to balance himself with this pinching weight clinging to his side. Three, every time you get on, you immediately head right out. I'm on, lets go. He is starting to go the second you go to get on because he thinks he is to go and go now.

The first one is easy enough to solve, quit sticking your toe in his ribs. The second one is easy enough to solve. Don't use the saddle to pull yourself up. Push yourself up using the strength in your legs. Place your left hand on the top of his neck, in front of the saddle and use that hand and arm to assist your legs in getting yourself up there into the saddle. Or do what many people do, use a mounting block to make it easier on both you and the horse. The third one is easy enough to solve too. Never ever get on a horse and head right out. Sit there for anywhere from three minutes to twenty minutes. Make him stand still, then head out after he has learned he gets to stand (or has to stand still) for a varying amount of time before going any place.

But lets say, it has become a conditioned habit of the horses by now and even though you have corrected your wrong doings, he still won't stand. Unlike some trainers who may recommend tying a horse to a post a few times and getting on and off until he learns to stand, DO NOT tie any horse up and get on unless he is tied with a stout, strong halter and lead rope, to a totally solid post and is not known to ever try halter pulling. Because, trust me, if he decides to fight this being tied when someone gets on, and he is halter pulling and anything breaks, he is going to come over backwards on top of you. Pretty messy and maybe deadly for you. Instead, mount and dismount with his head facing into a corner of a small sized square corral. Get on and off enough times without moving out of that corner, until he realizes that nothing is hurting him anymore and that he isn't expected to jump right out and start moving every time you get on. Or have a horse smart person hold onto his halter under the bridle, while you work on showing him that he is to stand during mounting and for awhile after your on. He can be retrained and learn to stand being mounted. But it is going to take some time, before he gets the picture. He has to learn, no more toe in the ribs, no more pinching, pulled sideways saddle and no more going anywhere for a while when you first get on.

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