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Old 08-13-2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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How to teach my horse to stand still while being mounted?

Hi all,

My new horse Bam Bam that I've asked questions about already has a habit of backing up every
time I go to put my foot in the stirrup and mount him. He seems to want to have his head even
with me because he will back up until I'm looking at the side of his head and he stops there.

I've rubbed his shoulders and talked with him and slowly moved down and patted his flanks and quickly
gotten into the saddle before he moved but I know this isn't the answer. He needs to stand still and let
me mount and then I'll tell him where we are going.

Are there any training exercises I can work with him on to get him to stand still for me?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 08-13-2005, 01:56 PM   #2
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Ok, here's what I do. Start kinda like you've been doing, rubbing him on his flank, but, patting the saddle. If he backs up, just stay with him. Eventually he'll learn you're going to stay where you are and it's no use moving. Then start picking up your leg, putting it in the stirrup, holding it there for a second, then taking it out. If you can't hop along side him with your foot in the stirrup, you may want to find a friend or someone who can do it for you. Once you can put your foot in and out of the stirrup, start bouncing like you are going to get on. Bounce until your horse thinks you have lost your mind and just ignores what you are doing. Then bounce, go up to the saddle, lay across it for a second, then come back down. If he starts to move, pull back on the reins and tell him to stand. If you are not able to balance on the side of the horse without twisting the saddle or making him uncomfortable, get that friend to help you! Eventually you'll be able to walk back there, put your foot in and swing up! I hope this has helped! Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:47 PM   #3
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In addition to what TxCowGrl said, you can make your outside rein (the right one if you are mounting from the left) a little shorter than the right, just enough to tip his nose. Then when he goes to move, he will move into you rather than away, plus if he's backing, it makes it a little more difficult to just move around. Here again, however, be sure you can move with him if he does move, otherwise you could end up under him.
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Old 08-13-2005, 03:05 PM   #4
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If I'm going to tip the nose, I prefer to the inside, but that's just me.
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Old 08-13-2005, 03:51 PM   #5
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Thanks alot for the tips. I haven't seen how far he would back up
yet but I'm guessing he might back up a ways and I'll have to keep up
with him for a while until he stops.

He's a pretty tall horse and I'm 6' 3" and I still have to step up quite
a bit to get in the stirrup so I don't know if I can "bounce" along

backwards with him very long without landing on my rear...haha...
but I'll give it a try.

He's getting better and better each time we ride and so far since
I pulled up on him and sent him skipping backwards after he
tried to lay down with me a few rides ago he hasn't tried it again.

The only other thing that I see that I don't like is that when it's
time to go back towards the barn and he knows we are going
in for the night he wants to trot quickly and would gallop if I let
him for the last 100 yards or so and I don't want him to trot or
gallop so it ends up being a pulling match on the reins that stops
him and as soon as I let him he's off to the races again. WHOA
doesn't seem to mean anything to him at this time. I "wrestled"
with him this morning when he wouldn't walk back to the barn
for me by going away from the barn and then turning back and
telling him to go slow and when I turned him back towards the
barn he would hurry up again only for me to turn him away and
make him walk away but as soon as I turned him back towards
the barn he would pick up into a trot again. So it ended up with
me pulling him back with the reins and he was still moving faster
than the walk I wanted. I don't think the bit (using a snaffle bit)
is causing him to think very much when I pull back on him to
resist his strong willed urge to "run" to the barn.

We usually groom and give him some 10% feed when we get
back to the barn and you can see from his rotund self that he
likes eating ALOT.

[img][/img]
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:03 PM   #6
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for the backing up when your riding him,
do you gather your reins when you step back to mount???
my two year old trys to back while i am mounting if there is any kind
of contact with his mouth, so i have to mount with a more casual feel
and then gather after mounting so that he does not confuse the contact with me asking him to back from the ground.

for the problem of him being in a hurry to get home,
i would take him out for his ride as usual, BUT, if he starts to pull and jig around on the way home i would swing him around in a tight circle, ask him to walk on towards home again, and if he doesnt go in the gait and speed you ask for, take him in another tight circle in the opposite direction. if he is still anxious to get home i would turn around and go out in the opposite direction of the barn for 2-5 minutes and try again, OR show him that he still has to work at the barn by tying him up or working him close to, or if its large enough, IN the barn isle or pen, that way he knows that just because he is home doesnt mean that there still isnt work to do or that he is going to be fed right away.

also, mabe take a few rides a week right in the area of his home to enforce the knowledge that he doesnt have to be out on a pleasure ride or in the arena to work.

hope you and your horse have many happy years!
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help. I do have the reins over his head when I go
to mount but I believe they are long enough that there is no force
being put on his mouth but I'll double check this next time we
ride.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:17 AM   #8
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Here is a funny idea, but it may help his barn sourness:

Take your grooming tools with you. Stop while you are out and brush him. Also stop now and then, get off and allow him to graze. Then when you get back home, work him hard. He should get the idea that going out is fun but coming home means work.

Another thing I have tried recently that helps: when he starts wanting to hurry home, turn him around and back him towards home. Backing is a lot of work and he may decide it is easier to walk home than back home!
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:21 AM   #9
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I don't know about that backing up.....he went to lay down on me and I pulled up and back on the reins pretty quickly and he skipped backwards
for about 10 foot before you could say your name!

He goes backwards about as far as going forwards.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:54 AM   #10
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He sounds like a talented guy!

Getting on issue: Do what the others said, but make sure once you are on you stand still for about 2 minutes. Horses tend to back up when mounted out of nerves (or because their rider is pulling on the mouth to mount, but it does not sound like you are.) Training him that he he gets to relax once you are on should help him relax while you mount too.
Putting his butt in a corner while you mount is an option too.


Karen2
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:56 AM   #11
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He did back up against nearly against a fence the other day and then stood for me....I guess he didn't want the barb wire poking on him.
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