Good morning, Friends!
One of Smokey’s major “holes” or task in need of tune-up, was mounting up from the mounting block. When she wanted to move her feet, or move off from the block while I wanted to mount up, I moved her a little away, bridle work, disengage, back, and a head down cue, then back to the mounting block to rest, and basically ground tie.
She caught on to ground tying quickly. It isn’t about the mounting block. It’s about standing quietly anywhere I ask her. These things, while giving a chance to learn, cannot be compromised on. I’ve had horses, that, if they move one of their feet, and you don’t notice, and ask them to give it back (reverse that motion), then they have won!
Every day in clinic, it would take a dozen times up to the mounting block, sometimes resting, relaxing, nothing being asked, and then going to mount up. My persistence had to outlast her resistance.
Teaching Smokey the hip over helped a lot, I felt. It gave her a different focus, a clean focus, without past resistance issues, to prepare for me to mount up. I used the hip over to mount up in the outside arena. The last day I walked her over to the mounting block, stepped up, and did a combination of forward cue and hip over, and mounted up without delay.
I’m been guilty of not giving these issues much thought. If someone wants to hold your horse for you while you mount, how will you do it by yourself? I like to present myself as a self-sufficient rider when I go somewhere with my horse. If you hold your horse, and bring the mounting block to your horse, they are similarly not learning anything, not learning the process. Stumps and logs don’t move in the woods when trail riding. These short cuts only short our partnership with our horse for working together!
Here is a short video on the hip over exercise. I posted it in a previous entry.
How are you fine tuning your partner? I’d love to hear!