Preparing Your Horse To Stand
- November 8, 2018
- Tristen Baroni
When preparing your horse to stand, use this as a guide to what the hard to mount horse is thinking.
If you have a horse that gets disgruntled, agitated, or scared when you go to mount, this will help you along the path of making that a distant memory. Our main goal when mounting our horse is to have them stand quietly and content when we ask. This requires the horse’s focus and attention – especially on younger horses – as it isn’t wise to mount an unprepared horse.
So, with that in mind, we must learn how to teach our horse to stand patiently. To do this you could do any number of movements, as well as a never ending supply of friendly tips and tricks. However, today we will focus on establishing control of the feet through the feel of the lead rope and with the driving pressure of either a flag or the end of your lead rope when/if necessary. To begin with (if your horse falls in the hard to mount category) DO NOT start the session off by trying to mount the horse, this will most likely further reinforce negative behavior. Instead, think of leading your horse around you in an even and balanced circle with the goal of lightness and communication in mind. Now, slowly try and influence the horse to maneuver in your desired manner – all the while keeping him busy, not harassing him, but keeping him moving with purpose.
As you work through your movements and the horse begins to improve, watch his expression and look for a good place to stop. Preferably this is when the horse has given noticeable effort or improvement in one of your exercises. When choosing a stopping point, try and stop the horse in a squared and balanced stance for this is essential in making it easy for them to stay with you – if they are crooked or unbalanced they will not find much comfort and will need to re-situate themselves. After they have stopped make sure to pet them and reward them for their efforts. This is the foundation to getting them to stand in all circumstances, whether it be as you mount them or while you close a gate with a bunch of other horses running off…it starts here.
After you have given your horse a substantial reward for his action, I would begin another sequence of ground work maneuvers followed by another stationary rest period. After this rest period you could attempt to mount. If it goes well then dismount and reward. If it goes poorly go straight back to the previous sequence until the horse finds a spot to stand… and rinse and repeat. Use some creativity and your own personal knowledge of your particular horse and the two of you will come closer together and you will have a much safer horse.
I hope some of you find this helpful and are finding time to enjoy your four legged friends .
About Tristen Baroni
I enjoy working with horses and people. It affords me the opportunity to constantly learn and improve my horsemanship skills and also grow as an individual. Horses are truly remarkable in the way they are and what they are capable of. I’m trying to get these...