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Stand to Mount

 Hi Ed
Yesterday bravo decided to step away from me when i mounted.....i backed him up..tried again. he stepped away again...i got quite upset with him and instinct had me send him (not sure if proper wording) into a side pass...WOW....he did it perfectly...i think he knew i was upset , boy did he look great.  we have the side pass down but not like that...  i guess i need to remember that when he's being lazy, it just doesn't come naturally with me..to him.....i need to toughen up, haha

Ii 'm heading to auburn today for rebecca's scholarship awards activities but am thinking every day next week i should saddle him up and practice mounting until he gets rid of this bad habit....any other suggestions?  I'm disappointed that he started it again, but then again we get closer every time an issue comes up, smile
Have a great weekend

Hi Pam,
You did fine to side-pass him vigoroulsy when he didn't stand still for mounting.  He did it so well because he could read your strong emtions and assertiveness.  He knew you were serious!  It's ok to have this strong leadership attitude more often when you know he is being lazy and should be giving you more effort at any exercise or manuever.

You might have him standing in the corner with fence in front of him, fence on his right side and mounting block on his left side then simulate mounting repeatedly without actually getting on.  Walk up & down the mounting block, grab the stirrup, bump him in the shoulder with your knee, put your foot in the stirrup then step back down on the ground and rub him for standing still.  Repeat this several times before actually mounting so you desensitize him to all of your movements during the mounting process.

When you do finally arrive in the saddle just sit there, relax and rub on him even before you put your right foot in the stirrup.  Maintain your connection with him instead of wiggling around trying to get your other stirrup which would add energy to the situation and indicate to him to move his feet.  (By the way, you should be able to put your right foot in the stirrup without reaching for it or looking at it.)
While mounting if you feel him start to move, see if you can encourage him to stand still by lifting up on the reins which are in your left hand during mounting.
When you are mounted, relaxed and he is standing calmly then your first step should be backing away from the mounting block, not going forward so he is always anticipating backing as the first direction of movement after mounting.  He will be less likely to walk off during mounting if he is anticipating that backing will be your next request.

Let me know how this works for you.

Enjoy the Journey,

Ed Dabney is an internationally acclaimed clinician, presenting horsemanship and riding clinics all over the US and in Europe.  In 2007, Ed was named Champion of the East Coast Trainer Challenge Series by Equine Extravaganza.  Ed was honored to have been selected by the University of Georgia to teach their senior level Young Horse Training course.

His training articles have appeared in many major national magazines.  Ed produces instructional videos and the “Gentle Horsemanship” TV program which has been seen on RFD-TV.

Ed's blending of natural horsemanship and classical equitation has made an indelible mark with students all across the United States and now also in Europe, drawing the attention of serious riders searching for the lightest touch and the deepest connection with their horses irrespective of breed or discipline.