I had a discussion going about mounting my horse who wouldn't stand still. Nancy Lowery help me with this. For more info visit TheNatural...

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Comment by steve critchley on September 8, 2010 at 6:48pm
Hi Marlene, I just happened to be at my computer when I noticed your comment. I continue to be amazed at how quick people make negative comments about horses and trainers with just a little snapshot of information. I've come to think very poorly of those folks. Regent is a charm to work with. He was becoming a bully very quickly and for him it needed to be addressed right away. Those who understand a bit about pasture horses, such as Regent, running with a herd it is all about pecking order. His poor ground manners were getting dangerous as he tried to exert his position of lead within a new herd, including people. The lead rope with the "popper" worked extremely well and caught his attention. Lots of exaggerated noise. He was anything but stressed. Once he realized he had to be respectful he became very easy to work with. Being a young horse he wanted to keep checking on his status and learn at the same time.

Once we had his attention he was all ears and did very well. We also moved him into a rope halter so as not to create a "hard mouth" during this training. He came to learn to be patient for mounting and he loves running and jumping. Flat training or going in circles in an arena bore him. Like a little kid that gets over excited and just wants to chase a ball into the street, Regent just needed a firm hand to learn some basics. As for rewards, huge part of his training. For us it is also extremely important to understand that horses have such different personalities from each other and what works for one may not work for another. He's done so well that he's one of the breed demos at the Master's at Spruce Meadows this week.
Comment by Marlene Thoms on September 8, 2010 at 6:33pm
The chair game looks like a lot of fun. But it absolutely wouldn't work with my guy. I tried the mounting block thing and positive reinforcement, he would always step just out of reach the moment I actually went to place my foot and it became his version of a chair game. I finally just started mounting from the ground, quite a stretch for me 'cause I'm old. But at least I had some control, and now I don't have to have a stool on the trail (although a side hill or ditch really helps!)
Comment by Marlene Thoms on September 8, 2010 at 6:24pm
I found this very helpful. This horse responded well to the degree of correction and didn't seem overly stressed. My horse has some of the same problems and I think this approach might work as he is a bit pushy. I would try less forceful corrections first and see if they worked, or just enough to get some improvement and work that gradually. Rewarding the horse when he responds at all is important, but sometimes he needs me to get under his skin a little before he listens.
Comment by Mary Ginn on February 11, 2010 at 11:10am
I would have to agree. Jerking the horse around like that raises adrenaline and lowers learning. Ellen, I love the chair game you posted!!!
Mary
Comment by Ellen Ofstad on February 11, 2010 at 7:50am
Hi Steve

Your horse will learn to stand still by using this method, but it won't solve the problem behind the behavior. The horse is stressed and uncomfortable and this method relies solely on punishing it for moving. Horses learn from punishment, and if you are unlucky the horse will learn to stand for mounting, and then throwing you off afterwards since he's not standing out of any positive motivation, but out of fear of punishment. Not a good place to start a ride...

When I saw this clip I uploaded a couple of clips where I show what I call the "chair game". I hope you will take a little time to try this with your horse. It's not to criticize you (maybe the trainer a little I must admit) I really just wanted to show you an alternative way to help you and your horse through this problem.

The clips I uploaded are Destinadas first "chair game" (teaching a horse to stand still for ... and Borka; a master of the "chair game"
I think they are self explanatory, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
With regards
Ellen
Comment by Geoffrey Pannell on February 11, 2010 at 1:29am
bit too savage for me!! I didn't see the horse stand Steve.
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