#16 Mount and Dismount

Is this a helpful exercise?

Appropriate gaits:  Halt, walk

Instructions:

Mount but insist on good horse manners!  If your horse moves or misbehaves, stop immediately, get off, re-position, and start from the beginning.  Mount gradually, one step at a time, as long as your horse stays still.

Repeat: 10x (or until improvement)

Tip: If horse evades your mounting, force them to move more (think of a very short lunge session) and reward by letting them stand still while you mount.

Tip: Many people offer their horse a treat (sugar cube) once they are mounted and standing still.  If your horse starts seeking treats at other halts, or gets pushy, skip this tip.

Tip: This video addresses mounting problems a different way.  It looks effective for troubleshooting mounting, but may cue your horse to incorrectly respond to whip taps while riding.  Note that the trainer also forces the horse to move when they evade, and rewards by letting them stand still during mounting.

Focus: Be gentle as you sit.

Focus: Find the stirrup without looking.

Good for: Relaxation, safety

Individual mounting steps:

  1. Stand at mounting block
  2. Push down on saddle with hands
  3. Wiggle saddle side-to-side
  4. One foot in stirrup
  5. Step down on stirrup
  6. Lean over saddle
  7. Raise your other leg
  8. Sit in saddle
  9. Both feet in stirrups
  10. Stand / relax / reward
  11. Begin moving

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