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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2016
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5

    Default Shareboarding a horse who walks off or steps sideways when I try to mount him

    I'm currently shareboarding a quarter horse that I've been riding since March. The owner is shareboarding because they very seldom get to the barn to ride him. There's been a number of issues with this horse: First, he tried to sidestep when I mount him. I overcame this initially by putting the mounting block closer to the wall and got him close to the wall so he couldn't step sideways. That worked for awhile and now he just tries to walk away. I hold the reins fairly tightly and try to get him to stay but it doesn't work. Usually some other rider or stable worker comes over and holds the reins and he stays so I can mount him.

    Any suggestions on how to fix this problem would be appreciated.

    My newest problem is that when we're inside and finally riding, he keeps looking towards the opening to go outside. When we get near the outside opening, it's a struggle to keep him on task. I'll rein him to stay in the arena and he's trying to go out and ends up going sideways. So far he hasn't succeeded in getting his way. I've tried to get him to pay attention to me by changing directions, going in circles, stopping him and making him bend, but he still goes back to trying to go outside. As we near the outside opening, he'll put his head down and walk really slowly, ignoring my kicking him to get him to trot. This is a new problem but I don't want to make this a habit with him and I know this can happen.

    I've tried to talk to the owner about the mounting problem, but the couple wants me to try to mount him from the ground really fast. This is a problem for me because I'm only 5'2", and I know that this can be a dangerous situation.

    Other than walking away from this arrangement, I'm at a loss. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    Thanks.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2006
    Location
    OKC
    Posts
    2,231

    Default

    First question re: mounting - are you sure you are not poking him in the side with your toe?

    Second - are you riding with a trainer?
    Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2015
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Re mounting - i personally mount in a one rein stop - means horse can't walk off, just turn away from you.

    Having said that i also teach horse to come to me once i'm on a block or fence etc. I stay on the block no matter what! Then use a dressage whip to tap the quarters or front etc to line up - ie tap until i get a step then stop and praise. I usually start this in a halter and lead as its just easier if they get confused or baulk etc. My horses generally get so good at this i can line them up to anything and click my fingers until they "assume the position"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,148

    Default

    What does your instructor say?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2012
    Location
    Southeast US
    Posts
    3,904

    Default

    It sounds like you are still a relative beginner. The horse has figured this out and is taking advantage of you. You should be taking at least one lesson a week in order to develop the skills you need to manage this horse.

    With respect to standing still for mounting, given your current level of experience, I suggest that you start on the ground with the horse in a halter and lead rope. Teach him to stand next to the mounting block and to stand there even when you drop the lead rope on the ground and walk away.

    You have to start small and reward him for standing for just a few moments, then gradually lengthen the time he has to stand in order to receive his reward. (Reward doesn't have to be a treat, although certainly it could be. But a few pats and praise are sufficient.)

    My horse was bad about this when I first got it and for a while I just did things like turning his head to one side and holding it there to make him stand. But after a while I got tired of doing that and decided to just take the time to teach him to stand quietly at the mounting block. We pretty quickly got to the point where I could lead him to the mounting block, tell him to stand, and then walk away, walk a big circle around him, then climb up the steps of the mounting block and stand there for a few moments, while he stood quietly.
    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    19,186

    Default

    You need a trainer to help you with these basic problems. The horse doesn't sound bad... but his manners are slipping. And that's to be expected of a horse who isn't ridden often except by someone new to riding. You guys---you, the horse and his owners-- need a pro to keep the horse tuned up. Really, the owners aren't doing their horse or themselves any favors if they are asking you, with fewer skills than they have, to school their horse in these basic bits of obedience. I think you all would do well to bring in a pro now because the horse has shown you that he'd like to not work. It is natural for a horse to ask if he can possibly half-ass a job. But when he learns that he can, we will take larger liberties until you all get to something that puts you in a dangerous situation. No one should let it get that far. You ought to pay for some lessons and/or training rides if no one else will. After all, you are the one who is learning from this situation.

    Good luck with your horse!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    4 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2016
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5

    Default

    To answer your questions, no I'm not poking him in the side with my toe. I am going to take a couple of lessons with a trainer next week so I can see what she can offer.

    Good advice about the emotions.

    Thanks!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2016
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5

    Default

    That sounds like a good suggestion. I'll let my new instructor know what you said. I couldn't do this on my own for awhile.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2016
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Yes, you're right. I started riding about a year ago, but at a lesson barn. The environment was much more controlled and all the horses I've ridden there know the drill. Also there is an instructor present to prevent any mounting problems, although I can mount any of their horses without any problems at all.

    You're right. This guy has me figured out. I'm going to try a couple of lessons with an instructor at this other stable where I shareboard. I will definitely mention your method. Thanks.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2016
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5

    Default

    You're right on all counts. The owners "excuse" his behavior by saying he's a lazy horse and he's had some stiffness on and off the past few years. They're inconsistent about tending to his ailments. Frankly I don't know why they still keep him.

    Hopefully we'll get some good advice from the trainer I'm going to hire before this gets any worse.

    Thanks.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Posts
    3,352

    Default

    My horse wants to move off before I'm on...just walks off. I do not finish getting on...I hang off his side for a few steps and drop to the ground. Take him back to the mounting block and do it again. He's stays put the second time. He now stays put most of the time.

    If you think this horse is safe enough to do that with, I would devote a ride session to just standing still for mounting. As long as it takes, as many times as it takes. Stay calm and patient.

    As for the door, plan a transition right before the door...get his mind on you. Of stop before the door, back a few steps and TELL him to trot off smartly. He needs to be more worried about you than day dreaming out the door.
    Ride like you mean it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2016
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Hi Newbie!
    There are so many good bits of advice folks have left for you. I have found a lot of help on these forums too.
    I just wanted to weigh in on the share board.....I have done this a couple of times and it's an excellent option for those who are not ready to buy a horse, or don't want 100% of the responsibility of owning one.
    A couple of years ago I half-leased a 12 year old Percheron/TB gelding. He was a great horse, owned by a loving person who had raised him from birth and trained him. She had competed with him. She knew what she was doing. In any case, I was love struck when I met him....17.1 hands (I love tall horses, since I am sort of tall), amazing floating gaits, sweet personality....I couldn't believe my luck in finding this situation!
    I started riding him, and the first couple of times were a little...well not so great.....but I chalked it up to he and I not being used to each other yet. So I kept riding him. Every ride was some kind of small battle. Nothing really bad, just kind of a struggle. Finally I realized that he was really just too much horse for me. I have been riding all my life, but I have always been a casual rider. I don't consider myself an advanced rider at all, despite all the years I've been riding.
    My point is, I think it's really important to try to look very objectively at your situation. Is this horse a good fit for you? Is he too much? I agree with suggestions to take lessons with him. But I think it's ok to say, "this just isn't working". It's hard because you get attached, or you feel obligated to the owner. But unless you have a formal contract that says you have to lease for a set amount of time, it's ok to say that it's not working.
    My best half lease came when I was taking lessons at a very casual, supportive barn. My instructor got to know me, and paired me up with a horse she knew was for lease. We were a good match, and had a lot of fun. And that really is the whole point! good luck to you!!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2016
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Hi Newbie!
    There are so many good bits of advice folks have left for you. I have found a lot of help on these forums too.
    I just wanted to weigh in on the share board.....I have done this a couple of times and it's an excellent option for those who are not ready to buy a horse, or don't want 100% of the responsibility of owning one.
    A couple of years ago I half-leased a 12 year old Percheron/TB gelding. He was a great horse, owned by a loving person who had raised him from birth and trained him. She had competed with him. She knew what she was doing. In any case, I was love struck when I met him....17.1 hands (I love tall horses, since I am sort of tall), amazing floating gaits, sweet personality....I couldn't believe my luck in finding this situation!
    I started riding him, and the first couple of times were a little...well not so great.....but I chalked it up to he and I not being used to each other yet. So I kept riding him. Every ride was some kind of small battle. Nothing really bad, just kind of a struggle. Finally I realized that he was really just too much horse for me. I have been riding all my life, but I have always been a casual rider. I don't consider myself an advanced rider at all, despite all the years I've been riding.
    My point is, I think it's really important to try to look very objectively at your situation. Is this horse a good fit for you? Is he too much? I agree with suggestions to take lessons with him. But I think it's ok to say, "this just isn't working". It's hard because you get attached, or you feel obligated to the owner. But unless you have a formal contract that says you have to lease for a set amount of time, it's ok to say that it's not working.
    My best half lease came when I was taking lessons at a very casual, supportive barn. My instructor got to know me, and paired me up with a horse she knew was for lease. We were a good match, and had a lot of fun. And that really is the whole point! good luck to you!!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 24, 2006
    Posts
    89

    Default

    I had a bad wreck with a horse that was used to walking off - or backing up, or moving away - from the mounting block. Bad as in dislocated shoulder and rotator cuff tendons disattached and couldn't be repaired. DON'T DO THIS. when I moved West, I discovered that out here, horses are expected to do what you want them to do. There are better and worse ways to accomplish this. What I do: position horse where I want him. Put hand on his neck. Step on mounting block. Wait. Lean over horse's back. Put leg over.
    Any movement, I get back down on the ground, start from beginning. If horse doesn't catch on, I start making him do a little work. I'm not mad: Just asking, would you rather do some work, or stand still? It can be turning him in a very tight circle away from me, or, if I've got a lead rope, getting some tight trot half-circles and changes of direction.
    Then we go back and start over. When he gets it right, I give him a little break.
    Rinse, lather, repeat.
    It's not much fun, but usually it doesn't take all that long if you're persistent and consistent and not angry.
    Especially with an inherently lazy horse, it's a useful and effective technique.

    This is really personal to me, as I'm old and broken up and scared, and being able to absolutely count on the horse standing still is the only way I can make myself get on.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2015
    Location
    toodling along in the fast lane with my left blinker on.
    Posts
    2,328

    Default

    WRT posts 3 and 14 - correct, you need to teach the horse to stand still. It has nothing to do with how often the horse is ridden. It's basic good manners,and this horse is lacking.

    OP, you don't need riding lessons, you need basic horsemanship lessons. Find a trainer who has a Western background who can teach you how to do groundwork and get the correct response from your horse. Once you get this figured out, you can teach your horse a lot of different things, and it won't matter that you don't have years of riding experience.
    Outlaws, in-laws, coolers of beer... Now, ain't we livin' the dream.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2015
    Posts
    206

    Default

    There are two ways that you can teach standing still for mounting. One: when you put a foot in the stirrup & he moves, don't mount and instead turn him around and around for 3 or 4 times. Its an active walk or trot ( like lunging) around you ( but don't get mad). Then, offer him to stand at mounting block and put a foot in stirrup - when he moves repeat above. You might have to do it quite a few times but he will eventually appreciate getting to stand still while you mount! then once you mount, pet him a wait about 5 secs. before moving - or plan to just work on mounting and do it again...
    Two: another method is to stand on the mounting block - reins over his head & in your hand ( or a halter and lead rope) and a dressage whip. Ask him to come up to the mounting block ( you are standing on it) he must come up to it with stirrup in position for you to mount - if he does not come up to it or moves send him off back and forth and ask him to come up to the m. block. That is my favorite method and I train all of my horses to stand still at the m. block that way. The key is to get them tired of having to move off and going back and forth - and wanting to stand still ( only at the mounting block) Its the old saying : make the wrong thing difficult - the right thing easy. good luck.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2012
    Location
    Moved South from North Pole
    Posts
    1,471

    Default

    One of my horses always has walked off when I try to mount him from a mounting block. For everyone else using same block, he stands still. He knows he can get away with it with me.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    8,171

    Default

    I agree with the suggestions to ask your instructor about it.

    But re: teaching them to stand. I've never had much success with making them walk around me if they decide to wiggle while I'm about to mount.. IMHO that's going about it the wrong way, you are letting them move while attempting to mount (which is dangerous!) and you are also letting them get to do what they want, which was move off in the first place.

    The first thing to do is inspect why it is happening. Are his manners slipping? Am I accidentally kicking him in the ribs? Is it saddle fit or back soreness?

    Once you figure that out, this is what I like to do.

    - Teach your horse the command 'stand'. That means stand still. Reward however you prefer, I prefer a sugar cube and/or clicker.
    - Once you have him 'standing', you teach him 'walk off'. Reward when he walks off.
    - Lead him to the mounting block and say 'Stand'. Reward with cube. Stand a few seconds longer.. then 'Walk off'. Rinse repeat - every time you stop at the block and he stands, give him a cube or treat.
    - Now try it by leading him to the mounting block, saying 'Stand'. If he moves, 'ah-ah', back up 'stand' again.
    - Get on - make sure to hold the reins and get on gently. Once you are situated, give him the treat, pat, and say 'walk off'. They do not get to go until you say 'walk off'.

    This is almost the first thing every single horse of mine learns, and even months and days later, they will stand at the block all day while you fuss with stirrups, girth, or chat -- because what was expected of them was made crystal clear and pleasant. Every now and then I will reinforce it by giving them a cube once I get on- they love it and it's a good way to solidify that what they are doing is correct/rewarding.

    So many people get on and immediately let the horse walk off -- IMHO, not safe - make them stand for a bit, and then go.
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012



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