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Standing still to be mounted.

Hi Franklin!

My name is Elly. I have been riding English (hunters) for 9 years and I just was given the opportunity to train a pony for a friend of mine. After a little background check, this is what I know about her:

14-hand Arabian, mare, 6 years old, mild-mannered, knows her ground manners, sunny disposition, willing to please.

The problem with the mare is that her previous owner (before my friend) was a 12-year old boy who would literally run up to her in the pasture, jump on bareback and bridle-less, and gallop her around for hours on end. Now, she won't stand still for anyone to get on her. She will very rarely stand to be mounted from the ground, and only then if someone is holding her head. She will absolutely not stand still for the mounting block. I need some help to find out what I can do to cure this problem ASAP. I am retraining her for sale as a child's pony, and she needs to be able to stand to be mounted. Also, I don't like getting on from the ground as it is bad for her back.

Any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks! Elly

Hi Elly,

Good news. This is a relatively simple behavioral problem to solve. Stop trying to restrain the pony! Simply stand on the mounting block, or ground, and allow the pony to move around, directing her movement around you as you pass the rope around your back. DO not try to stop or restrain the pony in any way. Simply direct movement. When the pony looks to stop, that is when you get actively involved and request the pony keep moving another 5 minutes or so. Then you allow the pony to stop. Give a brief rest and pick up a foot like you are going to mount, if the pony moves at all, you send it around you again for another 5 or 10 minutes, then allow another stop and raise your foot again. If the pony stands, bring the foot down and give a little praise. If it moves away, keep it moving. Repeat this as much and as long as it takes. A good place to stop the process might be if the pony stands where you want and allows you to put one foot in the stirrup. Then end the session. Ending on a good note does not always mean you need to fully accomplish what you want. Horses learn best one little step at a time. This builds trust. It is the development of trust that should be your main goal as that is the main problem. I have written on this topic a lot. There is more info in it in teh archives of my website available for free. Type in several key words like 'mounting problems' into the search box and see all the responses that come up. I am attaching a link below that you will love and will give you the essense of training a communicating with horses. Enjoy....

Sincerely, Franklin

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