I've got an embarrassing problem, got a new horse, perfect in every way but one. She spins and walks off when I go to mount her. If I tighten up on the reins, she backs up. I've had horses all my life, but can't get this one to stop. I'm sure it's a learned behavior and since I'm getting "older" I can't mount on the run anymore. I believe that she knows if I can't get on, she won't be ridden.
Worked with her in the round pen, put her to work everytime she moves. She still moves. Flexing is ok as long as I don't put a foot in the stirrup.
Clipped her to the trailer, she swings her butt into my face. Keeps doing it even if I scould her. Can even move around in cross-ties. No ouchy spots on her back, she stands to be saddled. I do make sure she is square.
She will allow me to mount if hubby holds the reins, but he won't be able to ride for 5 more months and I really want to ride and not have to ask perfect strangers to hold my horse while I get on :(
Is there something that I haven't thought of?
Try flexing her head from the ground first, until she stands still for that exercise before you try to get on. Remember to just use one rein, not two. Then, flex her head to the left with one rein and mount on the left while her head is flexed. That should work if she has learned to stand for flexing from the ground.
If she moves when you put a foot in the stirrup--stand up along side the saddle, without getting on..and stay with her until she quits moving. Keep her flexed the entire time w/ the left rein. Then when she quits moving retreat (get down) and and do it again until she quits moving when you put a foot in the stirrup.
If you need to back up from there, flex her head to the left and just flap her stirrup with your other hand until she stands still for that...then you can try the flex and mount exercise.
Another thing, make sure you are not hitting the horse in the side w/ your toe or foot when you mount. Use a mounting block if needed. This also helps to make sure you aren't using the saddle to pull your weight up onto the horse, which can be uncomfortable for her..and could make her want to walk off.
Once you do get on, flex her a thousand times every time you get on..and she will learn that when you get on all you are going to do is ask her to flex and not go forward. This is supposed to teach her to anticipate the flexing and not moving forward as soon as you get on.
And if that doesn't work I don't know. Try doing these exercises in an arena or a round pen, so she really has no where interesting to go.
Good news is this is a problem that can be fixed. Remember to remain calm and consistent and work with her every day. Horses learn from repetition.
I had a mare that no amount of training got her completely still. I began getting on from her right side and she never moved. I don't know that it would work with another horse, she was odd, lol. Just make sure he is comfortable with you on that side first.
Thanks Bertie and Julie for your comments, thinking about it, I had to go through our whole stock of saddles to find one that would fit her. It may be a saddle problem still yet.
I really have been neglecting her ground work. I'll definitely work more on the flexing. It's just strange that she will stand perfectly still if someone has her by the reins..... May be the only way she has ever been mounted.
Julie, we have a gelding that will only stand still if you get on from the right side. I found out that he had been started very young and assume that although he is 16 hands and built like a tank, he still has it in his mind that he can't support a rider's weight, but only on the left side.
Horses are funny, maybe that's why we love them so much.
my question is did you ride this horse before you got her and if so how was she to mount then? Sounds like a badly learned behavior to me and strangely enough my cousin was just telling about a trainer in Ky who had a horse who did this very thing and that was the reason he wanted to sell it because he couldn't get it to stand still to get on. Also just thought of one more thing, what are your hands doing with the reins when you go to get on? Are you picking them up with your hand or keeping them on the horses neck with your hand on them. I just got an old gelding back I use to own. He would never move to get on him, I went to get on him and he kept wanting to yield his hindquarters. Finally I realized if I kept my hand on his neck on the reins and didn't pick them up like I normally did he didn't budge. After mounting I realize he had learned to neck rein, lol (he'd been in Montana for awhile) so I guess he's learned the cowboy way!
I did ride her before I bought her. The guy had a saddle on her that did not fit, so I had someone put thier hand in the oppposite stirrup to get on her. Now that I think of it, he also had a hand on the reins. Guess I should have paid more attention.
They also had a very harse bit on her and checked the reins. He kept saying she doesn't like this bit and when he unbridled her, I could see why. She doesn't need that harsh of a bit, she's doing wonderful in a thom-thumb.
Maybe it is hand position, I hadn't thought of that, I usually drape the reins across the front of my saddle. She does neck rein and yields her hind quarters instantly.
I have a mare that I ride all the time that will walk ahead of you if you don't place a hand on her mane when leading her. For some reason, this makes her slow down.
Thanks everybody, I can't wait till tomorrow to try all these things. If nothing else, I'll have her too confused to think about moving around. :)
When I start all of my young horses, or purchase a horse with that problem, I start by tieing them up to a wall, fence, or trailer for approx. a dozen times before I try doing it by myself. Some horses catch on faster than others. But most of the time-it works for me, ecspecially when I am teaching them to stand still by myself.
I have a gelding that came out of a walking horse barn. He is revved up and ready to go constantly. He will not stand still either. So when i Saddle him and get ready to ride, i tie him to the wall or trailer with a lead rode, get on and unhook him. He does perfectly well this way. Then after that intial first time he stands perfectly still every time I get on and off. I figure eventually he will learn to do it the first time also. Good luck!
I've never mounted a horse that did not stand still.
It's like trying to go to a trail ride with a horse that will not trailer load...
Should you really want to go there?
Anything that you do in the saddle can be done from the ground.
If you don't fine tune the ground work, in the saddle is a poor choice of places to work on it.
A trail ride is the second worst place to work on it.
" If I tighten up on the reins, she backs up. "
Remember the release. Your hand is too hard.
"Clipped her to the trailer, she swings her butt into my face."
Do you make her move out of your way, or do you get out of her way?
"Keeps doing it even if I scould her."
I guess she doesn't understand your language?
"She will allow me to mount"
Oh I see, your not listening to what SHE wants...
I don't mean to be crude, but read what your writing.
The answer can only be achieved by YOU. We can't tell anything from here.
You can send the horse to a trainer but unless your trained along with her, neither of you can communicate very well.
I was not being smart about not getting on a horse that will not stand (or do anything on the trail). I've walked back to camp on several occasions. There is one thing that always came from it. The horse knew how to lead by the time we got back!
We often have insufficient time to work with our horses.
This is not a reason to let things get out of hand and cause potential harm to you.
Just take a step back and do not rush into anything (just to get a ride in).
You are asking her to do what she does not understand.
When you climb on "at all costs", your telling her it's OK to not stand still.
I am having the same issue (except for the butt thing). It almost seems like the previous owner wanted to "cowboy" as soon as the leg goes over. Standing patiently for 1 minute after mount up seems like entering the olympics. If I ever sovle it, I will drop you a note. Someone suggested that I tie him to a tree and mount/dismount 20 times. I will try it this weekend. Until then, I sympathize...
This is a good question to Clint Anderson, what would he do.
Some times your ridding friends will help if you ask. It sounds like the mare is nervise, acting like that. What type of trailer are you using? If it's a young horse may be and older reliable horse can help. I have no idea where you are but if I was close I would help. mine is 19. I had him when he was 11 months old. But I would email Clint a question, or ask Sam Powell, he's in Tennessee. Lucy
I do not know if you were able to over come the issue of your horse not standing for you to mount and ride her.
I have read all the responses that have been left for you on this topic. I am a trainer in Montana, I am hoping that you have been able to resolve this issue. I know this is very embarrassing if you are trying to ride with friends and have to ask one of them to hold your horse for you to mount and ride.
As a trainer I have encountered several horses that have been difficult to mount when they refuse to stand still. When I encounter a horse like this there are two steps that I use to correct this issue.
The first step is to flex, as in your case, the mare's neck while you are standing next to the stirrup of the saddle. I ask the horse to flex and not move, When you start out this exersize the horse usualy will move her back end away from you in the opposite direction. I continue to repeat this exersize until the horse stands still and will give her neck around almost to her own shoulder without moving. When the horse responds to the the neck flexing exersize with out moving, I then grab the stir up of the saddle and get her used to me slapping the stir ups lightly against her side to get her used to me grabbing and playing with the stir ups. If the Mare stands for this then I will then put my foot in the stir up getting the horse used to me putting light pressure in the stir up.
If the horse stands still for this then I gradually put more pressure in the stir up, if the horse shy's away then ask her to flex her head in on the side you are mounting on. Depending on the amount of resistance that your mare has ben giving you, I would recomend that you flex her head back almost to her sholder. now using your left hand I would hold on the saddle horn while your left elbow rest along side your horses neck and hold the left reign so that the mares neck is still flexed arround toward you and keep the left reign under your arm pit.
I will then repeat the attempt to put my foot in the stir up, if the horse moves after you put pressure on the stir up, I then with my left arm ask the horse to flex closer by tightening my arm up to your body with the left reign still under your left arm. I will try to maintain the pressure on the stirrup and this does require some ability to hop along side your horse safley if they move a couple of steps. I continue this step while adding more and more pressure to the stirrup. As your horse becomes accustomed to this and stops moving you can then do what I call a half mount, this is where I will attempt to stand up in the stirrup without putting my other leg across the back of the horse.
If I have done the ground work correctly the horse will stand while I half mount and stand in the stirrup for thirty seconds before I dismount and release the mare from the flex. If the horse stands for this step after 5 half mounts, I will then mount the horse and place the other leg over the back of the horse and sit in the saddle, at the time that I am able to sit in the saddle with out the horse moving during the mounting exersize I release the flex. As the horse becomes familiar with you mounting, you will see lees and less that you will have to ask the mare to flex her neck towards you as you mount.
I had a paint gelding that had the same problem as your mare and I am pleased to say that after doing these steps I was able to safely mount and ride this gelding within a week without having to ask him to flex his neck towards me. Now granted some horses do learn at different rates just like people so your mare may have different results and may catch on faster or slower, do not loose faith in her. This Gelding I worked was a very difficult horse at first and I nearly gave up on him, I am glad that I didn't as this gelding is one of the greatest horses I have had the pleasure of riding.