Problems with mounting

KalaJ

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3 March 2013
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Hi, newbie and first post but need some advice.

I'm in my late 30's and up until a month ago I hadn't ridden for 10 years. I've never owned my own horse but rode pretty much 2/3 times a week from the age of 8 to 20. So, I got talking to lady that needed help with her horse, met the horse 4 weeks ago and i'm hooked again lol.

It was going fairly well up until the 4th time I rode when we had a fairly bad incident whilst mounting, we are still not 100% sure what happened but I had just got on, hadn't even got my foot in the stirrup when she started walking backwards, reared, slipped and went down with me still on. I kind of threw myself of to the side and she got up of her own accord about 5 seconds later. It was horrible, we were both fine but very very shaken.

So fast forward to this week, the lady that owns her has gone on holiday, all going well until day two when I went up to ride her and I just could not get on, every time I put my foot near the stirrup she moved off or swung around, someone tried to hold her for me but she did a little mini rear so I gave up.

I want to ride her this week as got time off work but I just don't know what to do for the best. I'm thinking lunge her for a bit and then try and get on?

Opinions please
 
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I wouldn't even try. As you haven't mentioned it, I am guessing the horse hasn't had any checks from vet, physio etc after it fell? Not only could it have been pain that caused the issue to start, there's a good chance its hurt itself falling with you. Imo until the horse has had pain ruled out, nobody should be riding it. And if its a behavioral issue its not really your problem to overcome. I also think the owner is either a bit clueless herself, or just taking advantage, to leave a novice who hasn't been involved for 10yrs with her horse whilst she swans off on holiday. Especially a horse that has an unresolved pain (or less likely behavioral issue). Not only for the sake of the horses comfort, but for your own safety, please don't try to mount it until it has been seen by a vet &/or physio, & you have someone more experienced/ scrupulous than the owner present, & have seen it mounted easily by someone else. If that horse goes over again & lands on you, you could be talking serious injury or death. And the owner really is either completely inexperienced/stupid, or very uncaring to take such a massive gamble with your safety.
 

KalaJ

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Sorry, I should have said in previous post, she was checked after the fall and I have ridden her twice since then and the owner has ridden her 3/4 times too
 

KalaJ

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I wasn't there when she was checked but I believe it was a vet who checked her teeth and back. The only thing that we can put it down too was maybe the saddle cloth was not straight and maybe pinched her back as when we took the saddle off there was an area that looked ruffled unlike the rest of her hair which was smooth.......in fairness we just don't know, there were 2 other people on the yard that saw what happened and they were puzzled too.

If it was a back problem then surely this would have been an issue the other times I rode?
 
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Not necessarily, if it is pain, depending on the cause, its possible to have good & bad days. If vet didn't find anything, I would want referring to a physio. And the saddle fit checking. Although horses can take the mick with strangers to see how far they can get, I would expect a bit of fidgeting or walking off, rearing is extreme enough for me to think pain. Sorry to be personal, but only other cause that springs to mind is if you are significantly bigger/heavier than the owner &/or don't mount very lightly? In which case possibly that caused the initial walking off, if you then were holding reins tightly it would cause her to walk backwards, & then a combination of your weight & you being unbalanced caused the fall. Or, horse is very unbalanced in general & you being unbalanced mounting caused it. However, unless you are lots bigger than the owner, &/or mount heavily, I'd still work on the basis its pain.
 

KalaJ

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Thank you, I think I will wait for the owner to come back and ask about getting a physio out. There is about a 3 stone difference in weight between me and owner with me being the heavier one. although the horse has carried riders bigger than me before.

I don't want to cause her any pain so will just leave riding until I know for sure.

It's still fun looking after her without riding though :D
 
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Welcome to the forum.

I agree with the advice Littlelegs has given you. Whatever the horse's reaction to you mounting is related to, whether it be pain/behaviour etc, it won't do the horse any harm to have a week or two off work whilst the owner is away. And you can take advantage of the spare time you have by getting to know her better from the ground, and vice versa. Give her a lovely long groom, take her for walks to do a bit of grazing, do some in-hand work with her in the school.

Have fun, I hope you get to the bottom of the issue and it all works out.
 
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Hi, I agree with APs - use this time to do some ground work.

A similar thing happened to me a few weeks back - saddle slipped on mounting Boyo bucked with me half way up and I hit the deck in the car park - new numnah, girth sleeve, breastplate has sorted it out.

Just wondered OP do you mount from ground or mounting block?
 

KalaJ

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Hi RainbowDash, I use a mounting block, combination of my short legs and her long ones not a good mix lol. The owner always gets on from the ground, but she does sort of hop around as horse walks off! I wonder if she is scared of the mounting block?

Was a bit naughty today, was lunging her when one of the older women at the yard said I should get on her, she got on first and then I got on from a wooden platform at the side of the menage and she was fine! Had a good hour ride with no problems....slightly scary moment with a swan but we survived.

I really do think it's behaviour more than pain as she goes beautifully when i'm on her!
 
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Maybe not so much fear of the block. But if her owner gets on from the ground she may just be unused to standing nicely at the block.

My pone just wouldn't stand at a block to begin with - took a lot of practice but he stands very nicely now.

Glad you had a good ride today - except for the swan :-D

If the lunge then mount worked today then perhaps try the same next time you ride xx.
 

Rollin

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10 March 2008
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I had a problem with my young stallion when he came back from breaking in. In fact i could not ride him at all as he would not stand still to be mounted. I was quite cross with the trainer.

Now I start them myself and spend a lot of time with the mounting block - the Clevies are easier than the Arabs!!!

I found with my young stallion that it can take a very long time to get them to stand quietly, particularly for a young horse. I am in my 60's and it is essential that mounting is 'safe'. I hope you find a solution.
 

KalaJ

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I've been doing a lot of work with just getting her to stand when she is tacked up! I'm sure i'll crack it with time, she is just used to her owner hopping around while she is walking off, which is fine for her as she can get on from the ground.

She was definitely better after lunging though, maybe that's the answer to get rid of the initial sillyness.
 
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I agree. Lunging for a few minutes is a good to take the edge off.

I'm sure you'll get there and training her to stand nicely at a block will also benefit her owner too. Keep us posted on your progress xxx
 
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