Horse Training Tips for Mounting
The horse training tips for mounting I use, particularly for that first time a horse will experience a person putting weight on their back should encompass some well planned out foundational games first of course.
I always start with lots of ground play time, utilizing clicker training (lots of targeting objects) and natural horsemanship methods. During this time I concentrate on introducing the horse commands walk, whoa and back up.
Targeting objects is a much bigger deal than I think some people realize. It creates a language immediately with a horse to understand to touch something which helps eliminate fears for horses. And it starts the process of building upon one word and one behavior to many other feats to come. Additionally you both learn to understand YES that’s what I was thinking!
Having a solid trusting relationship is vital for all horses and I always focus upon the horse’s emotional side. If I see the smallest signs of fear or anxiety, I will immediately stop and go back to teaching something the horse is comfortable with doing. I personally feel it is unfair and ineffective to try and teach a horse while they are upset. If a horse is in either of these states you risk teaching more fear than alleviating it.
I measure the amount of trust a horse has for me in many ways but an obvious one is if they will stay and follow me the entire time we are together.
Horse Training Tips for Mounting Success
Where I get the most success with our horse training tips for mounting is believe it or not the mounting block itself! Yes, I want my horse to think that mounting block is the best place to be. How?, by having the horse "want me" to be on top of it.
Starting with the exercise of standing on it and scratching and stroking the horse everywhere I can touch. Sometimes in the beginning a horse will only approach with their heads and that a great place to start.
We could add follow the target and have the horse walk around you too. Here is where I would put the word "walk" into practice if I needed them to take one or two steps forward so I could easily place my hands upon their back.
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Here is what my further goal would look like and I start to lean a little on his back. Notice Hero's ears are pointed in my direction; this tells me his attention is on what I am doing.
Now the fun really begins! We go off within the arena and practice anything and everything we know like touching objects, circling around me, backing up etc. and then I quickly head for the mounting block for the praise Hero enjoys. Notice how he "trots" quickly to catch up! He is eager to get there because he knows that a reward and petting awaits him!
The more we play this mounting block game the exercise becomes a familiar positively reinforced time. Then when the next steps to lean and put your foot in the stirrup (several times, each time reinforcing for standing still) you are going to set the foundation for and uneventful calming mount.
You could also do this game in the event you have a horse that has been difficult to stand still for mounting.
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