Michigan 10 year old TWH ridden in walking horse bit - snaffle mouth piece and english or western saddle in 80 x 40 pen by average rider.

Question: Since I have had my mare she will not stand to allow me to get on.  Right now I'm making her walk in circles when she doesn't stand still, after about the 4, 5 or 6 try she will stand still long enough so I can get on.  I'm 58 and don't quite have the spring in my step that I use to, so I'm forced to pull myself up more than I care to.  I would use a mounting block if I could get her to stand next to it.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

From Panelist Laura

I usually find that the horse not standing still for mounting isn't really as much a mounting problem as a problem with not teaching the horse to stand after you are mounted (I know - this sounds as clear as mud...).

Once you manage to get on, ask your horse to stand still.  You need to teach the horse that she doesn't get to move off until you ask her to.  (Asking means clucking, squeezing with your legs or saying "walk on."  It doesn't mean letting her walk off while you are thinking "well, I wanted to go anyway.")  You want the horse to eventually stand quietly on a loose rein.  This is a gradual process that you build on each day.  

Each time you get on: tell the horse whoa (quietly) and pull back on the reins until the horse stands.  Tell her "stand still."  Reward her by loosening the reins and be ready to pull to stop her each time he moves.  She moves - you correct her by pulling the reins.  She stops - you reward her with loosening the reins.  You may have to do this over & over until she 
realizes that you are really serious about this standing still stuff.

At first you will just get your mare to stand for a few seconds.  Lengthen this time each day until she stands quietly for 5 minutes or so.  When riding, stop and ask her to stand still and quietly for a few minutes.  When you are finished riding, don't just jump off and put her up.  Have her stand quietly for 5-10 minutes (this is a long time to do nothing so talk to a 
friend, smoke a cigarette, or sing camp songs to yourself).  Then dismount.  Pet her, tell her "stand still" and get back on.  When she is standing quietly, dismount again.  Repeat this a few times.  Tell her what a smart, good horse she is and do this every day until she is standing quietly for you to mount.  NEVER get on and move off immediately.  Always ask her to stand for a few minutes before you go anywhere.  If your friends always hop on & 
take off immediately - quit riding with them for a while unless they are willing to wait for you.  Once your horse is standing quietly for you, introduce the mounting block and it should be easy at this point for the horse to stand still for you.  

Good luck.


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