Paso Fino, 10 year old Professional Training ridden in a western or austrian saddle in round pen by intermediate level rider.
 Question: My question is, How can I make my horse stand still  while I mount her, the minute I put my foot up she pulls her rear end to the right. I"ve work with her a lot on just standing  and she can do that. I just never know when I can count on her to stand still. I bought her about 5 weeks ago, she was very nervous with her her surroundings but now seem confortable . She comes to  me when I call her and I think we are developing a good
 relationship. She is fine once I get on her, reins and rides nicely. Thanks for your help.  


From Panelist Nancy 

First, make sure that you are not poking her in the side with your toe.  Also be sure that you are holding the reins evenly and not turning her head to the left (towards you).  Both those mistakes could cause her to shift her hindquarters to the right.  If you are sure you are not doing those things, then you might try turning her head slightly towards the
right.  That should prevent her from swinging her hindquarters to the right. 

Don't turn it too far to the right though, as then she might swing her quarters to the 

Nancy Cade

From Panelist Stella

Well, if she's just swinging her hind end off to the right, its not as big a problem as trying to take off the minute you put a foot in the stirrup...Paso Finos love to work, are smart and 'anticipate' whats next readily, and unfortunately many trainers just jump on and take
off in gait, as that's their, in the showring, they start off in gait, do the walk last! I readily admit that many years ago, when I first started  with Pasos, I was guilty of the same...just jump on, and take off...til I realized that not everyone is as quick to jump in the saddle, and I was  guilty of creating a problem with the horse! 

Its best to have them stand quietly, and even when they "volunteer" to get to work so readily and willingly(that's what "brio is), to make them stand quietly and relaxed, no 
matter how long it takes to get on and then stand there for as long as I say  so...and then(once they RELAX and not impatient to work), WALK off...then  gait on command. However, HOW we mount can also create standing problems  when mounting. Without seeing how you mount, its hard to tell exactly where your problem originates, but develop a consciousness of every little move you make, and pay attention to how it affects the horse...if she seems fine and calm once you're on and "centered," it may very well be
something in your style of mounting that is causing her discomfort that she'd rather 

One thing you do want to insure is that while you have your reins properly  positioned, and not too tight.A horse needs its head to balance itself, and  too tight a rein can actually throw it somewhat off balance...even the idea that its so restricted it cant use itself to maximize its balance while you add weight can make a horse "antsy"- remember their natural instinct is not to lose balance and possibly fall. While having the left rein a tad shorter, so if the horse moves, it will circle...which does make the hindend move more to the shouldn't be so tight that the horse cant "position" itself more supportively
to bear weight. Make sure when you do start to mount, the legs are in a good 
position under itself and straight. Watch that you don't inadvertantly pull on the bit to help yourself into the saddle, making mounting a most unpleasant and painful experience for the this hand on the wither(not the saddle, your right hand may be in it though).
Learn to  "spring" your weight from your left leg-the one on the GROUND- to your upper 
body and arms, over the saddle, centered above the horse,more so than just the weight to your stirrup. "Pulling" yourself up into the saddle off the left stirrup will make the saddle and girth twist and rub, as well as temporarily pull the horse off balance,and then they MUST move at least one foot to accommodate this-after all, all of your weight is hanging
off to one side!

Alot of movements we humans make is on "automatic pilot"-our body just does  them unconsciously without thinking "how" and "when." But the horse is  always aware of every little nuance; not only is it their language, but it has a profound effect on their own movement and balance. If you start to think in terms of the relationship truly being "a dance" between horse and rider, develop body awareness and conscious control of your own movements, to the most subtlest degrees, it not only solves many problems, but avoids developing many, is the key to ideal communication, comfort and 
happiness of the horse, and consequently its rider's satisfaction with the relationship!


From Panelist Carol

Most Pasos, unlike Walkers and other gaited breeds, are trained to bend.  I first like to see one bend their head in the bosal from the ground and also show disengagement (crossing over) of the hindquarters.  Just pick up one rein while beginning to mount and see if she moves when you put your foot in the stirrup.  If so, just try to put your foot in without her moving.  This may take some leg lifting on your part!  Next, just stand up but do not mount, pet her on the right shoulder and step down until she will stand still for this.  Then you are ready to mount; just mount but don't go anywhere.  Stop forward motion by bending. 

Finally, she may be resisting being mounted because of poor saddle fit and first that needs to be checked.  I should have said that first. 

Carol Camp Tosh 


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