my newly broken suddenly spooky over mounting and dismounting
Eve · 13/02/2010 20:52
...he's 5 now, broken last summer, not done a lot over winter apart from hacking out when weather allows and a few schooling sessions over small jumps.
Hes OK when I mount from ground, but if I ty mounting block or leg up.. he freaks and takes of.
Today, dismounting I swung leg back and he reared of and I went out the back door.
Thankfully it was at gate of field so I landed in the mud.
What I think started it was a friend give me a leg up and as she did so I went on awkwardly, she shouted at the same time at her horse who was wondering of and ran after him.
I think hes been frightened by that and its the movement hes catching out of corner of his eye.. any tips for working though this, obviously lots and lots of on and off... nice and quietly, with praise and no noise...
Pixel · 13/02/2010 23:08
Glad you didn't hurt yourself, it must have been a shock! How about getting him used to having things flapping round him?
My boy was getting spooked by my flourescent vest (suppose he could see it out of the corner of his eye when I was on him) so we let him sniff it, stroked him with it etc. Now we can flap it all around him, even throw it so it lands over his face and he isn't bothered!
I would be inclined to spend some time working with the mounting block but without attempting to get on to start with. Get him used to you jumping on and off it, people making noises etc until he is relaxed with different things happening, and then reintroduce mounting. Otherwise you only need something to spook him again and you will be back to square one.
Owls · 13/02/2010 23:14
Pixel, thought it was just my boy that was being spooked by my flourescent over-sized jacket!
Eve, am coming to the slow realisation that there will ALWAYS be SOMETHING to get het up over. Mine is doing the sideways thing at the mounting block now. Also he has decided the sound of the stirrup leathers being altered is spooky.
Anyone for knitting?
Pixel · 14/02/2010 00:15
I already knit!
My boy knocks me off the mounting block, or steps sideways just as I'm putting my foot in the stirrup. He is a clever little beast!
He knows I can't get on from the ground. I bought one of those extension things that you hang on your stirrup. I got my foot in it ok but then I was too far down to get my leg over his back and I was stuck there. My mum was in fits of laughter .
ohnelly · 14/02/2010 09:22
Hi we had a horse like this at a yard where I worked, he was young too and started being silly about the mounting block. We dedicated nearly a whole morning to getting on and off again and again until he just stood there in the end. You need a lot of patience, time ideally a helper and maybe some food. We put some horse & pony nuts on the mounting block & let him eat from there, then from someones hand while rider getting on. If he was silly we started again and only walked away from block if he had behaved with reward of more food.
It got better and we always had a few nuts in pocket for that first week or so and if he stood he got some! After that it wasnt a problem. agree with above about getting him used to flapping things, banging the saddle (lightly at first obviously!) and jumping on & off mounting block to get him used to it. Might not work with all but worth a try?
oldernowiser · 14/02/2010 15:20
Owning horses is just like having huge and expensive toddlers really isn't it? Why do we do it to ourselves? (Still, I have spent a very happy morning taking pony for a walk and then taught him to kiss me since it's Valentines Day )
Pixel · 14/02/2010 18:50
Lol, we call ours 'the big toddler' because he stamps his foot and tosses his head when he's had enough of something. If he could pout he would.
Southwestwhippet · 14/02/2010 20:15
could you move the mounting block out from the wall so you have him between the block and the wall and spend some time lying over him, patting him both sides, banging the saddle (gently) etc so he gets used to it?
Regarding the leg up, I would imagine that he is still getting used to you being 'higher' than him when you mount, if you do it from the ground he has time to feel your weight and mentally prepare himself. With a leg up, particularly if you are springy, you suddenly 'appear' on his back which can make youngsters nervous.
You could spend some time holding the saddle and jumping up and down next to him to get him used to seeing the movement out of the corner of his eye. Then ask an experienced friend to hold him (on a lunge line if you seriously think he is going to take off) and leg you up but not over a few times. Then you can progress to being legged up but lying over the saddle rather than swinging your leg over. When he is happy with this, get your friend to leg you up to lye over the saddle, then pop your left foot in the stirrup (friend might have to help you find it from this position) and quietly bring your right leg over and sit up
With regards to dismounting I spent a long time teaching my pony to allow me to dismount with his head down and relaxed as he used to throw his head up and get very tense when I dismounted. Basically I just dismounted really really slowly going back to just sitting on him every time he tensed up or lifted his head. I spent a long time just leaning forward patting him, progressing to just swinging my right leg back and forward, gradually progressing to actually dismounting.
Hope some of this is helpful, good luck with him
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