I just purchased a 14 year old horse. My problem is he won't go to a mounting ramp and when tied to get on he panics and pulls back from being tied. I have to have someone hold him to get on - he is easy to ride and has good manners when ridden.
Hello, Thanks for using Just Answer! What you are describing is 1) a horse that has noot been trained to submit to pressure and 2) a horse that has some fine tuning missing from his training. As far as the tying issue, a horse should NEVER be tied when mounting as it is very dangerous. If he fusses and does not hold still for you to mount from the block, teach him to stand quietly specifically at that location. This is done with patient handling and repeated sessions of calm, positive reinforcement. Begin in a quiet area to introduce him to the concept of standing quietly to your command. The word "whoa" is commonly used but you may use whatever word you wish as long as the sound and tone are consistent. Low, deep sounds work well for calming a horse, while high pitched sounds stimulate them. I call this training "setting the parking brake". Teach him that he is to stand quietly without moving his feet, if he moves his feet gently restrain him and repeat the command. Do this for a minute and increase over time to several minutes. Be sure he is not distracted by flies, feeding time, stablemates leaving or causing a ruckus. Do NOT use treats to reward him as this initiates behaviors that are counter productive. When he can stan reliably foe a minute or two, begin moving around him while expecting him to remain motionless. This really helps solidify the standing routine by the mounting block and will make it easier for you to ride him. Until he is solid with this behavior, continue to have someone help you to avoid reinforcement of the unwanted behavior. An additional step is to inspect the saddle amd have its fit on your horse evaluated by an experienced saddle fitter to be sure there isn't a pain issue contributing to the unwanted "wiggling" while mounting. Please let me know if you have specific questions about the procedure or how it applies to your horse!Be safe and have fun!SusieL, MS
30+ years of horse ownership, 15+ years of equine massage therapy, saddle fit, equine biomechanist
Thank you for the information. I have been taking my horse to the mounting ramp and he is getting better - he will stand by it but when Iget on it he backs away or turns sideways.
I think he is a little barn sour - Today he starting refusing to go into the arena - I finally got him in and we walked and stopped. He has a very stubborn streak I am finding out. The saddle is custom fit and the one he has been using.
How can I get him to submit to pressure? I have had two other horses with none of these issues. Thank you.
Its all about timing with a horse like this. Chances are good that he was pushed and "pulled on" without the release that horses depend on to tell them they are doing the right thing. Look for the smallest response to reward your horse by releasing pressure on him. He will learn that you are a fair leader and will be more willing to respond with desirable behaviors. What usually happens is the opposite in which riders pull and pull seeking their idea of the perfect response without giving the horse a chance to learn and respond incrementally to the pressure (reins, leg, ground work, etc.). Thus the horse is taught that no matter what he does the pressures never stop and no break or reward is forthcoming. The result is a sour attitide and reduced training outcome (less desirable). I recommend watching a master. trainer like John Lyons, Monty Foreman, Buck Brannaman, etc to find the timing within yourself. Try this, let me know!Oh, and spend some time with him in the arena doing something he likes, a positive association is helpful for a barn sour horse. Be sure the rewards do not happen at the stall, such as grain or feed waiting for him when he gets back from training sessions. No carrots upon return, wait at least 10 to 15 min before feeding hay! SusieL, MS40713.8680216435