Riding issue #1 (as I’m quite sure more will surface 😂)

poiuytrewq

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Getting the little monster to stand at a mounting block, not even stand actually I’m more than happy to hop in on the move but he’s instantly swinging his whole body away to face me instead.
I did leap last week but it look a bit of doing and staying on after so keen to crack this swiftly.
He’s actually not keen on standing anywhere not just at the block and is getting quite stressy about it.
This is new behaviour since I’ve had him. (December but been off due to injury)
I want to start riding and am reasonably happy to hack him alone but I kind of need to get on him first 😳 I have no help.
 

Leo Walker

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I would clicker train but you can use any method you want. Start by training a stand, then train him to move his bum over from a finger point etc, get him so hes maneuverable and listening. Then train him to stand at the block.

Line him up and praise him for standing, if he moves circle him round and represent, over and over and over. Every time he moves at any stage, circle him round and bring him back. Praise him as soon as he stands Set aside a couple of hours to do this as it can take that long the first time.

Do not at any point take a flyer and leap. Even if you are almost on, get off, circle and represent. As soon as he stands and lets you on, stop and put him away. Dont be tempted to ride. The aim of the session is to get on with him standing relaxed.
 
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get him standing wherever you want him to stand-not just at the block but also use the block everywhere so that he gets used to it (to groom, to lead past it etc)

take him to the place you want him to stand, face looking away and every time he moves head or feet, position him back where you put him originally without looking at him or praising/talking. every time. only move away once he rests a leg and relaxes. do it on the way to the field, by the block, anywhere really. If he's a particularly busy sort it might take some time but he should just stand nicely wherever you put him and wait for you to tell him to move again.
 

poiuytrewq

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Practice taking him to the block without getting on.
I have been. I got it once by giving a treat when he stood but we got to the point of swinging his head round and crocodile snapping which wasn’t quite the required reaction!
My mounting block isn’t moveable. I built it specially for him out of concrete blocks!
I have been circling him back round untacked so not even to get on just with the intention of standing a second or so but his head go’s up and he just gets arsey about it.
Pretty sure he’s trying it on a bit as I know for a fact that although he’s probably not used to standing he will walk square past to hop on.
 

poiuytrewq

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Motherofchickens thanks, he is a busy sort. This is fairly new. I’d stop and chat to people at work with him and he’d stand nicely. He’s developed but of a bolshy side whilst off over winter it seems! Not helped by the fact I have to lead two to and from the field so can’t concentrate too much on him and manners.
 

sportsmansB

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Make sure if you are standing him by it and giving a treat, that you treat him on the off side or he will even more want to swing around towards you
Then when he stands and you get on you can continue to give him a treat from the saddle, but again on the off side.
 

milliepops

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Make sure if you are standing him by it and giving a treat, that you treat him on the off side or he will even more want to swing around towards you
Then when he stands and you get on you can continue to give him a treat from the saddle, but again on the off side.
lots of good advice upthread about teaching him to just stand where he's put.
but this is so useful for any fidget at the mounting block. I also always try and keep more of a feel on the off side rein than the near side when mounting, that also dissuades them from turning their bum away from you.
 

moleskinsmum

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Mine was a complete pain in the bottom for this when I first got him and I just used to re-present at the mounting block until he stood - I think the record was 27 times. In the early days, sometimes he would swing through 180 degrees and then stand so I mastered getting on from the "wrong side". It does take consistency and perseverance but I am now pleased to say that he stands like a rock 95 per cent of the time now and I only ever have to re-present once if he doesn't. We have also more or less mastered not moving as soon as my bum hits the saddle.

The only exception is when I am using something other than our (also static) mounting block when occasionally we will have to have a few goes.
 

SpringArising

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I think the crux is that he doesn't know how to stand still full stop.

You shouldn't need to use reins to make your horse stand at the block - or anywhere in theory. I've written a post on this lots of times as I had the same issue with my young horse who was a bit wary of me getting on and would fidget. Long story short, he now takes himself to the block and actively steps him bum TOWARDS me because he knows he'll get a treat for being a good boy.
 

teddypops

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I had a pony like this and I actually came off a couple of times mid mount. I came across a video on you tube of a trainer showing how to make your horse draw to the mounting block and stand still. He used a schooling whip to give a little tap to make horse move towards block and it was amazing. I only had to do this twice before my pony would draw to the block and stand. I think it was Richard Maxwell but not 100% sure.
 

Mahoganybay

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I had this with my mare initially, it’s a disrespectful behaviour that I feel needs nipping in the bud ASAP. I think it’s actually quite dangerous and have seen a few accidents in my many years on livery yards.

To solve the problem with my girl, I spent a week or two in the school with a moveable mounting block, would walk her to the block and keep a hold of the outside rein. Using a schooling whip I tapped her outside rump if she stepped out until she stepped back and then I stopped tapping. I would say the command ‘stand’, if she took even a step forward then I would turn her around the mounting block a couple of times in a small circle and then repeat the above. She soon got dizzy and realised that it was harder to fidget/move than it was to stand still.

I would never leap on, nor would I allow a horse to walk away until you give the command for them to.

Good luck, I’m sure time and patience will sort the issue out for you.
 

oldie48

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I had a pony like this and I actually came off a couple of times mid mount. I came across a video on you tube of a trainer showing how to make your horse draw to the mounting block and stand still. He used a schooling whip to give a little tap to make horse move towards block and it was amazing. I only had to do this twice before my pony would draw to the block and stand. I think it was Richard Maxwell but not 100% sure.
Yes it was Richard Maxwell. Lots of irritating taps, interestingly to get the horse to move towards the whip, not away. I can't explain, so have a look at the video if you are interested. Don't leap a) it's dangerous unless you are a cowboy and b) it's very undignified when you end up hanging off the side of the horse with the saddle slipping. I used loads of repetition with Rose, treats when she stood nicely and no interaction when she didn't but just represented. We did spend quite a lot of time in my school doing nothing but get on and off. i know I shouldn't admit to this (ducks and gets a tin hat) but eventually I got a bit peed off and gave her a smack and a bit of a telling off, it may be coincidence, but she's been pretty good since then.
 

ImmyS

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Teach him to ‘park’ this is what I did with mine who was worried bout being mounted. I taught mine by initially teaching pressure as release. Then working from the block, so horse in halter and rope, stand on block with a longish riding whip. It is NOT to beat the horse, it’s just to give cues so you can reach when he swings his quarters away. Stand in the block loosely holding head near you but not tight. Lean and use stick to tap on his off side quarters, at any time he takes the tiniest movement towards you, stop scratch/reward and repeat. If he steps away just keeping asking gently but persistently. They quickly learn its easier and nice to stand at block. After teaching this, mine now automatically parks as soon as I go to stand on mounting block. They learn pretty quickly how to park! Lots of YouTube videos too if you look it up.
 

Cat91

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He used a schooling whip to give a little tap to make horse move towards block and it was amazing. I only had to do this twice before my pony would draw to the block and stand. I think it was Richard Maxwell but not 100% sure.
I tried this but my horse takes absolutely no notice of the tapping. He just stands there and ignores it haha.

I found that re-presenting worked with mine. Didn't take him long to figure out that I'm more stubborn than he is so it was just easier for him to do as he was asked.
 

teddypops

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Mine ignored me at first but when I cli
I tried this but my horse takes absolutely no notice of the tapping. He just stands there and ignores it haha.

I found that re-presenting worked with mine. Didn't take him long to figure out that I'm more stubborn than he is so it was just easier for him to do as he was asked.
I had to click at the same time as the tap initially for pony to get the message but it didn’t take long!
 

poiuytrewq

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Make sure if you are standing him by it and giving a treat, that you treat him on the off side or he will even more want to swing around towards you
Then when he stands and you get on you can continue to give him a treat from the saddle, but again on the off side.
This is one of the most blindingly obvious (but absolute genius 😂) points. I hadn’t thought of it and had stupidly been treating from the near side. Thanks Sportsmansb!
This horse DOES know how to stand and what it means. I know that.

So I had another play tonight, again untacked. He was in a far more co-operative mood today! He backs up nicely and moves his quarters away when asked. He would also stand better different places. He will also stand relatively nicely next to the block but with it on his offside! He still got quite difficult and stressy facing the correct direction which is odd. So I think tomorrow I need to move the mounting block so I can try it with him facing his favoured way and see what happens then.
I had intended to move it anyway (it’s just bloody hard heavy work to move but isn’t cemented together) as it’s facing downhill into large open fields which isn’t the most sensible really.
🤞
 
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Getting the little monster to stand at a mounting block, not even stand actually I’m more than happy to hop in on the move but he’s instantly swinging his whole body away to face me instead.
I did leap last week but it look a bit of doing and staying on after so keen to crack this swiftly.
He’s actually not keen on standing anywhere not just at the block and is getting quite stressy about it.
This is new behaviour since I’ve had him. (December but been off due to injury)
I want to start riding and am reasonably happy to hack him alone but I kind of need to get on him first 😳 I have no help.
 
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Mine is a pain for standing at the block and last week he was taught by my Portuguese instructor to move towards the block which has been amazing!! I stand on the top of the block with him facing me (horse not instructor ;-)) and tap him very lightly with a schooling whip on the bottom. If he takes a step towards me, I stop, step away, start again. Within 10 mins he had learnt it would stop if he moved to the block! Since then as soon as I stand at the top of the block and tap him gently once he moves his bottom straight round to me! I must add, it’s a very very light tapping 😀
 

oldie48

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Mine is a pain for standing at the block and last week he was taught by my Portuguese instructor to move towards the block which has been amazing!! I stand on the top of the block with him facing me (horse not instructor ;-)) and tap him very lightly with a schooling whip on the bottom. If he takes a step towards me, I stop, step away, start again. Within 10 mins he had learnt it would stop if he moved to the block! Since then as soon as I stand at the top of the block and tap him gently once he moves his bottom straight round to me! I must add, it’s a very very light tapping 😀
This is what Richard Maxwell does in the video!
 

Ceifer

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I had this with my mare initially, it’s a disrespectful behaviour that I feel needs nipping in the bud ASAP. I think it’s actually quite dangerous and have seen a few accidents in my many years on livery yards.

To solve the problem with my girl, I spent a week or two in the school with a moveable mounting block, would walk her to the block and keep a hold of the outside rein. Using a schooling whip I tapped her outside rump if she stepped out until she stepped back and then I stopped tapping. I would say the command ‘stand’, if she took even a step forward then I would turn her around the mounting block a couple of times in a small circle and then repeat the above. She soon got dizzy and realised that it was harder to fidget/move than it was to stand still.

I would never leap on, nor would I allow a horse to walk away until you give the command for them to.

Good luck, I’m sure time and patience will sort the issue out for you.
Agree with this. It is dangerous to take a leap. Having seen a livery take a leap, toe the horse and it promptly deposit her on concrete.

The irony was that when she did seek help (after her cracked ribs and front teeth were replaced) the trainer she used taught the horse to stand like a lamb in 15 minutes using clicker training.
 

poiuytrewq

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Did you solve the problem OP?
Seem to have! Not at my specially constructed mounting block but to be fair even my old horses were slightly hesitant at it. I have no idea why?!
However I’ve gone back to my old slightly dodgy feeling one. Did lots of practice standing and successfully got on!
Await riding issue #2 😂😂
 

flying_high

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My new horse didn’t stand reliably to mount, especially in strange places. I epically hacked him solo to a big field by a railway, and dismounted to open a sticky gate. I think it took me over 30 attempts to remount from the gate, as he kept swinging round, and I refuse to leap if I think he’s about to move!

I then practiced mounting from fences and gates back at the yard. My tactic is to give him a treat cube once my bum is in the saddle, not before. And he is food motivated, so he is keen for me to get on him, and therefore helpful in positioning himself. It works any mounting place, in any situation, even spooky and scary or exciting ones. But it helps he is greedy. He stands very still I am on, until he has had his treat cube, and will nudge my toe if I forget!
 

poiuytrewq

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My new horse didn’t stand reliably to mount, especially in strange places. I epically hacked him solo to a big field by a railway, and dismounted to open a sticky gate. I think it took me over 30 attempts to remount from the gate, as he kept swinging round, and I refuse to leap if I think he’s about to move!

I then practiced mounting from fences and gates back at the yard. My tactic is to give him a treat cube once my bum is in the saddle, not before. And he is food motivated, so he is keen for me to get on him, and therefore helpful in positioning himself. It works any mounting place, in any situation, even spooky and scary or exciting ones. But it helps he is greedy. He stands very still I am on, until he has had his treat cube, and will nudge my toe if I forget!
I wouldn’t dare get off once out just yet 😂
 
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My sect D is terrified of a mounting block but I can get on from a wall, gate or anything else and he stands no problem at all but there are obviosly scary beasts hiding in every mounting block.
 

Gusbear

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Mine was always a complete nightmare at the mounting block for the first 2 years I had him. He would either swing out his hindquarters and face me or walk forwards/backwards. Not a problem if there were at least two other people present, one to hold his head and the other to stop him swinging his bum out and away from me. I moved to a new yard which had a big wooden moveable platform in the indoor. I would position it with enough space for him to squeeze in between it and the wall. He managed to get the message but then I realised this didn’t help when trying to mount in the outdoor or at the stables which had fixed mounting blocks.
My instructor told me to pull the outside rein tight to turn my horse’s head away from me. This stopped him from turning his bum out.
This was repeated many times (I.e. 45 mins of try, fail, repeat) until my horse would stand then and not walk off. The minute I put my foot in the stirrup and he moved then I stepped back and repeated the process. Once I was onboard he was rewarded with a peppermint and a big pat. To this day I can now get on and he will literally not move a muscle until such time my bum is firmly in the saddle, I have faffed about with stirrups, girth, reins (in the words of my instructor, until I got my knitting sorted) etc., and I’m ready to walk on. He’s so well trained now he simply won’t move until such time he gets his ‘good boy’ peppermint and then off we go.
I now also mount on a very lose rein as dear horse knows his job and will simply pull his head down to the floor if I put any pressure on the bit.
Im 5’4” and weigh 8 stone and my horse is a whopping 18.3hh, nearly 900kg and as wide as a table so I need to ensure he is as still as a statue whilst I attempt to to get my middle aged body to clamber aboard!
 

Ceriann

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I’ve dealt with this with my mare. The thing that really sorted it was an exercise where I got on and just sat there. Reins dropped (if possible!) and just don’t move after mounting. Once she relaxed I’d get off and put her away. Took a weekish but I think it made mounting very unexciting!
 
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