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Howdy, Bob,

I live in Tennessee. and enjoy your site SO VERY MUCH.

What do you do to stop a horse from wanting to move on you when trying to get on him? PLEASE HELP....

Keep on with the good site.

Y'all come, you hear.
C. S.


Thanks for your kind remarks -- it's always nice to know that someone enjoys this "labor of love"!

Wanting to move when being mounted is a fairly common trait, and may take a little while to train out of a horse. Here are a few things I've found helpful.

1. A horse that won't stand still with a rider in the saddle usually won't stand still for mounting, either. Practice making the horse just stand still and steady while you are on board. Whenever the horse starts to fidget, a simple twitch of the reins should be enough to stop him. (Don't forget to sit in the "brake" position.)

2. When mounting, as soon as the horse starts to move, stop trying to climb on and use the reins and bit pressure to stop him. A voice command, "stand," can help reinforce what you are asking of him. Don't lift yourself off the ground until he is standing quietly. Once you are mounted, don't immediately start to move out. Just sit there quietly for a few moments, so the horse doesn't associate the action of mounting with quickly getting under way.

3. You can actually be cueing a horse to move by your body position while mounting. Leaning toward the neck and allowing the legs to swing toward the rear and/or hard against the flank will send signals to the horse that you WANT it to move. Be careful not to send a mixed message. Instead, maintain an erect posture while mounting; your position in the saddle should be on a straight line with the place you were standing on the ground a moment before.

4. By now I sound like a broken record, but I can't repeat it enough: "A horse will tend to behave toward you like you behave toward it." If you are fidgety, moving your body all around when you try to mount, guess what your horse will do. Approaching the horse calmly, quietly, and without any unnecessary movements will tend to have a steadying influence on your horse.

As a safety measure, never mount a horse while it is still hitched. I've seen a couple of cases where a rider rejected this advice -- and some serious injury to both horse and rider resulted.

Learning to stand still while being mounted is part of a horse's basic training, and should be drilled into him just as you would with responding to the reins and other cues.

I hope this helps!

God bless!

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