Does your horse stand still for mounting?

Gotta say it. One of my pet peeves about horse training is the horse that begins walking off, just as the rider starts to step aboard.

Some equines step off as soon as the rider is seated in the saddle, even before he or she gathers up the reins. Others start their promenade while the rider is swinging a leg over the horse. And some horses start to go forward even earlier.

I’ve seen more than a few professional horse trainers (as maybe you have too), who allow this bad behavior to continue.

Sure, it may not rattle a lifelong horseman or horsewoman to mount a moving target. Maybe old-time cowboys didn’t mind playing catch-up while climbing onto a horse. OK, several particularly game riders have even vaulted aboard running horses.

Not me, thanks.

Several years ago, I actually took a terrible tumble when my horse stepped off from the mounting block before I was seated and balanced. I was riding bareback, even without a Bareback Pad (because it was about 100 degrees that day). As you might imagine, it took little to send me into a gravitational spin, which sent me to the emergency room.

With that fall, I lost a quarter of an inch of height, crushing a lumbar vertebra when I bounced off the edge of the mounting block on the way down. Ouch!

Yes, I used a Mounting Block. My Warmblood Horse was 16.3 hands high, and I’m somewhat height-challenged. 

You know the drill.

Enter Clinton Anderson with a few practical pointers. I liked this video, and it’s come in quite handy with a young horse I’m working with right now.

Maybe you’ll find Anderson’s tips helpful too. Yes, it’s fairly common-sense stuff, but he puts it together in a workable way.


photo credit: Eduardo Amorim via photopin cc

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