Mounting block argument !!

tubby1

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My very big girl has suddenly decided she can't stand at the mounting block , so I am currently doing the leap of faith onto her back across a very large muddy void. I am just looking for some tips to help me nip this in the bud before it becomes a huge problem .
 

Tiffany

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Get someone to hold her while you get on, give her a pat when she does and just keep bringing her back to block if she doesn't. If this behaviour has only started recently, did something happen for it to start?
 

JustKickOn

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Move the block next to a fence or a wall, stand her between the two and get her to stand when you get on.
Lots of groundwork reinforcing the vocal aids for stand, backwards and walk on.
Get someone to hold her, and gradually them move away when you're mounting.

And stop doing the leap of faith, all you are doing is allowing her bad manners to continue and letting her get away with it.
 

YorksG

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Is the ground by your block muddy? My Appy mare is a pest about our large block, because over time the ground has worn into a slope, made worse by the very wet weather. I currently use a movable block until I can get to sort the ground out, which won't be until we get some drier weather, we may even have to re-site the block all together.
 

WelshD

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I saw a demo once where the chap running it had a horse that didnt stand at a mounting block. He used a schooling whip to irritate the side furthest from him so the horse moved away from the irritation (so towards the block) at which point it was rewarded by the ceasing of the irritation. It learned very quickly to stand in the right spot
 

Sukistokes2

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Imo this is an argument you need to win before it becomes an issue. Have you had a problem in the past. I had one incident where my saddle slipped and this upset my horse for a bit.
This is how I would do it......

I would rope in a friend to help. I would walk my horse to the block, make her stand. Praise her and then walk her away. I would repeat until she is comfortable. Once my horse was comfortable and standing happily I would start climbing on the block. If she moves, walk her away and then bring her back. If she does not move praise her. Continue until she is comfortable, lots of praise. Then start putting a toe in the iron, stand there and praise her for not moving. If she reacts away she goes and then bring her back. Slowly work you way stage by stage in to the saddle. Praise her for standing still, walk her away if she is not playing ball. My horse got fed up being lead away and back again very quickly, he now stands like a rock.....unless his saddle is not tight, he will then sift his weight and I know then to check. Time consuming maybe but really worth the effort.

Orson's idea below works as well but I was thinking of one of those blocks you can not move!

Also while you are at it you might as well do it on both sides as there is nothing wrong with being able to get up from both sides. In fact I have to really think about what side you are meant to get on.! ;)
 
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fjordhorsefan

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I had this problem with my guy when I first got him. We spent 45 minutes getting it right - every time he moved away, I put him right back where he needed to be. When he stood still and I could get on, I got off again and put him away for the day. Ever since then he has stood like a rock! I think he got bored eventually, I know I did :)
 

Orson Cart

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You could take it in stages ... first get the horse to stand at the block. Every time they move, allow it to happen, move the block back to the side of them (take block to horse, not horse to block) and repeat until they stand still. When they stand still, praise. Then move onto putting a foot up on the block - each time they move repeat moving the block and praising when stood still. When you've got that sorted move onto putting a foot in the stirrup and out again - move to the front and praise. If they move, go back to the beginning with moving the block to them. Then leaning over. Then sitting on the horse. When horse stands still with you mounted, get off and repeat the final mounting stage several times over. Getting on one side and off the other is good training. Get the horse used to the idea that standing still in itself is a reward and does not always lead to 'work' Repeat until horse stands totally still whilst you mount etc ... praise, put away for the day and then next time mount and ride away. Could take just a few minutes, could take hours but persevere and you will get there. I had the same problem - this is the solution my riding instructor gave to me and it worked within 20 mins. Just one approach of many. HTH. xx

ETA:whilst I was typing this, a similar approach has already been mentioned. Sorry about that!
 
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wench

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Move the block next to a fence or a wall, stand her between the two and get her to stand when you get on.
Lots of groundwork reinforcing the vocal aids for stand, backwards and walk on.
Get someone to hold her, and gradually them move away when you're mounting.

And stop doing the leap of faith, all you are doing is allowing her bad manners to continue and letting her get away with it.
Please don't do this, it could lead to a horrible accident if your horse decides it doesn't like being penned in. I tried something very similar a few years ago and I was exceptionally lucky I didn't end up in hospitsl
 

Orson Cart

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Please don't do this, it could lead to a horrible accident if your horse decides it doesn't like being penned in. I tried something very similar a few years ago and I was exceptionally lucky I didn't end up in hospitsl
I concur - this was my first solution to the mounting block issue - resulted in me coming over the top of the horses head, breaking a finger and giving my horse the biggest collywobbles about being mounted! Although I do agree that you need to stop jumping the void!
 

Orson Cart

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Orson's idea below works as well but I was thinking of one of those blocks you can not move!

Also while you are at it you might as well do it on both sides as there is nothing wrong with being able to get up from both sides. In fact I have to really think about what side you are meant to get on.! ;)
Ah yes - hadn't thought of the immovable mounting block! If my mounting block wasn't movable, I would do it Suki's way. xx
 

Cinnamontoast

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Please don't do this, it could lead to a horrible accident if your horse decides it doesn't like being penned in. I tried something very similar a few years ago and I was exceptionally lucky I didn't end up in hospitsl
Agree, the only way out for the horse is to go up, not a nice idea.

Mine can be a PITA at the block, repeating good practise helps, time and time again, use a friend with treats, praise when he does as asked, get straight back off again then start again, over and over.
 

baymareb

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My daughter's horse used to be awful about the mounting block. My solution was to use a small block I could place in the middle of the arena. I would walk him to it and get on the block. As soon as he began to walk off, I would pull him in a circle around the block, tapping him on the rump with a crop. Then I would ask him to halt and try again. If he did not stand, off we went again. Or if he did not stop where I asked him to, I would make him move on, around the block.

Having the block where it was allowed me to stay on it so I was not constantly getting off and on it which in my opinion gives the horse too much control over the situation. By driving him on when he walked off, I was taking control of his movement instead of him just doing what he wanted. Every time he stopped when I asked, I would praise him and pet him but if he did not stand quietly for me to mount and moved off again, it was right back to it.

He got the idea very quickly. He got sick of having to go around in circles at the mounting block and I would not mount until he was standing quietly. This sort of thing requires you to have patience and time. He will stand anywhere now.
 

JustKickOn

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Please don't do this, it could lead to a horrible accident if your horse decides it doesn't like being penned in. I tried something very similar a few years ago and I was exceptionally lucky I didn't end up in hospitsl
When I have done this method previously, the horse is still able to move forward, backwards and has enough room for the horse to step to the side, but not to completely swing the quarters away. I popped the block at A, rather than in the corner and wedging the horse in. This was with a mare that wasn't keen on confined spaces, so in no way was she penned in. I guess it depends on how you assess the situation and the horse. Mine would have freaked out at being niggled at with a whip on the opposite side. It's down to judgement I guess, but she now has the manners to stand still when I'm getting on.

Even if you don't use that method for actually getting on, it can help train the horse to stand straight and next to something.
 
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Tinypony

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My daughter's horse used to be awful about the mounting block. My solution was to use a small block I could place in the middle of the arena. I would walk him to it and get on the block. As soon as he began to walk off, I would pull him in a circle around the block, tapping him on the rump with a crop. Then I would ask him to halt and try again. If he did not stand, off we went again. Or if he did not stop where I asked him to, I would make him move on, around the block.

Having the block where it was allowed me to stay on it so I was not constantly getting off and on it which in my opinion gives the horse too much control over the situation. By driving him on when he walked off, I was taking control of his movement instead of him just doing what he wanted. Every time he stopped when I asked, I would praise him and pet him but if he did not stand quietly for me to mount and moved off again, it was right back to it.

He got the idea very quickly. He got sick of having to go around in circles at the mounting block and I would not mount until he was standing quietly. This sort of thing requires you to have patience and time. He will stand anywhere now.
I'd say this would be a safe and long lasting solution. I've sorted out a fair few horses that won't stand to be mounted and this is the approach I'd use, not always needing to irritate the horse with a stick, but always having them move and offering them the chance to be still in the right place. The rule is to never get on if they are moving, if they shift then get down and start again until they work out that they need to stand still.
 
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