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Horse Deals: Standing for Mounting

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See Horse Deals March issue for the Standing for Mounting article.

Things to remember:

  1. This lesson is all about getting the emotional level right - if the horse is too emotional then it will feel locked in and may get agitated. If this is the case, you need to break the lesson down further and perhaps simply walk backwards down the long side of the arena a few times to establish 'forward' for the horse.
  2. Many people feel that the lesson is 'wrong' because the horse is being taught to move into pressure and are tempted to reach over and tap the horse on the other side of the hindquarter. However, this lesson is the perfect example of being able to teach the horse whatever you like, using whatever signals you choose, as long as you are clear and use combined reinforcement correctly. It's about clarity and how you break the lesson down for the horse, not about what your signal might be.
  3. Recognize that you have several cues here: 1) you are holding the rein close to the bit, 2) you are standing at the nose, 3) you are tapping the hip, 4) you might have a verbal cue (I say 'hips') and 5) you can move the head to the right (this will encourage the hips to move left). Only one of these cues, number 3), is the same as the 'go forward' signal used when teaching give to the bit.
  4. Finally, I used a safe/strong post and rail fence to mount in the images attached to this article. I often teach this and put the mounting block next to the fence. This is also useful if you want to graduate the lesson by first standing on the lower steps.