Your horse moves off because he anticipates what you’ll want him to do next. He knows that when you land in the saddle, work is about to start. So he moves off, ready to ride…but…you stayed behind, one foot in the stirrup, the other hopping along, trying to keep your balance. Don’t worry, we’ve all had that moment before. This problem is quite easy to fix, so grab a cup of coffee and a notepad and start reading!
Step 1- Start Hopping
Standing on your horse’s mounting side with loose reins, start hopping up and down. He may walk of, thinking you want to mount. Don’t stop jumping, keep hopping, moving with him until he stops. Once he stands still, immediately stop too. This rewards him for standing still. Start hopping again and repeat the process. When he stands calmly with you jumping like a crazy person, move on to the next step!
Step 2 – Adding Pressure
While jumping and hopping (remember to keep the reins loose), start pressing on the saddle, pull on the stirrups, flap the saddle flaps, etc. If he stands quietly, stop instantly, wait a few seconds and start again. If he stands still, it’s time for the next step.
Step 3 – Stepping Up the Game
Your horse now stands quietly with you jumping around, flapping his saddle and adding a bit of weight. Now it’s time to step up the game. Grabbing the saddle and a piece of mane, put your foot into the stirrup. If he stand still, start hopping. Keep on hopping until he quits moving. Immediately remove your foot and give him a bit of space. Repeat this step until he’s completely comfortable with it.
Step 4 – Adding Weight
Your horse is standing completely still, now when you step into the stirrup, hop up. Just lean over to the other side, don’t put your leg over yet. When he stops (don’t pull on the reins), step down, give him a scratch or some space (whichever your horse prefers). Repeat until he stands still.
Step 5 – Completing the Training Session
It’s time to swing the other leg over. It’s so easy to mount a horse that stand still, right! But the session isn’t over yet! When you swing your leg over, don’t immediately go off to work, first stand still, give yourself and yourself a pat on the back, and then … dismount! Yep…for a training session to completely soak in, you’ll have to repeat the process a few times! Mount and dismount a few more times … and viola! You have an upgraded horse!
Remember to go slow and with your horse’s learning pace. Also, remember to keep the reins loose!
If this method didn’t work, consult a professional horse trainer, your horse might have some underlying problems.
Author Bio: Wilke Strydom is a horse lover from South Africa. She is an equestrian, always busy training young horses, riding endurance and giving riding lessons. She competed in the Boerperd 3 Gaited Championships last year and took quite a few blue ribbons home. Horses are her absolute passion, which she now shares with the world through her new blog, The Equestrian Web. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.