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What are the tools that you use to have a Young Horse stand still during & after mounting?

Original Question:

I’m wondering what your tools are to have a young horse stand still, during and after the mounting process?
Regards Steph

Angie’s Answer:

Hi Steph,
Thanks for the question 🙂
If they are not standing still then they are telling you they are not ready to get on. Also, if they move off after you have mounted it’s probably a combination of two things. 1. They are also not relaxed hence them feeling they need to move their feet. 2. They haven’t been taught to stand and wait after mounting (it’s a habit that we need to teach our horses).
However, if we haven’t prepped them properly on the ground and they are not relaxed it’s going to be very difficult to try and teach them to stand still after mounting. I wouldn’t teach them how to stand still after mounting, I am going to set it up so they don’t feel the need to move their feet after mounting.
When I was doing a lot of breaking in, I can’t actually remember a single horse wanting to move their feet during or after the mounting process. Not because they were frozen or worried about it but because they were relaxed and ready for me to mount.
So to answer your question I would suggest you spend more time on the ground before mounting. But work on a balance between exercises that move their feet (but they should still be relaxed when doing these) and then stopping them and standing still and waiting until they relax. Though I don’t just wait for the horse to relax when the stop to rest. I help ‘support’ them to find relaxation by putting little feels down the rope, then focusing on my breathing OR I will walk in an arc to re-focus their attention back on me and then I slowly support and show them how to relax (what I call ‘melt’ after moving their feet). Sometimes I will walk in and arc and move and walk and face a different direction to bring their focus back to me so I can then help support them to find true, deep relaxation when they are standing still.
I would suggest working through all the groundwork exercises in the video library i.e. personal space, desensitisation, hindquarter yields, all the different types of lunging, with the focus on supporting relaxation.
Your horse will tell you when they are ready to mount. If you prep. them properly on the ground first, then make it a habit to mount and stand and relax then you won’t have a probably with it  . I would also suggest stepping off them and going for a walk and then mounting again every now and then.
Mounting and standing still and relaxing is such an important skill to teach young horses.
It’s all about preparation on the ground, with a huge focus on RELAXATION. All my training both on the ground and under saddle starts and finishes with relaxation!
Hope this helps,
Angie 💗


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