Equine First Aid Kits - Basic Winter Essentials
Equestrian Advice & Guides Horse Health
Are you fighting a daily battle, trying to jump on your horse before they run away? This doesn’t have to be the case! I’ve owned my horse for 10 years now and I didn’t realise it was so simple to change – in fact, I didn’t really realise it was even possible for it to change permanently. Results will vary from horse to horse and you will need to be consistent, but after 20 minutes of ground work, I was able to get on from the mounting block… on my own… without her moving! This is the face of a proud mum. This will, of course, need to be repeated every time you ride, until it becomes second nature to your horse.
So, where to start. Grab yourself a mounting block, a whip and ensure that your girth is securely fastened!
Firstly, walk your horse up to the mounting block and stand on the step at a height where you feel able to get on easily. As your horse goes to walk off, guide them around the block. So instead of getting off the steps and trying again, stay where you are but guide them round to start again, so psychologically they are making more work for themselves.
At some point (hopefully before you go dizzy) the horse will realise what he/she is doing and will eventually stand still. At this point, step off the mounting block. Give your horse a minute to understand what has just happened – they will be aware that they have just been walking in circles for no reason.
Repeat this step a few times until you’re able to get your horse to stand still at the mounting block within a few seconds of you asking. Don’t be too strict and pick your battles. If they don’t stand exactly where you’ve asked, that’s fine, as long as you feel comfortable that you could get on safely.
If your horse stops in a position where you don’t feel able to get on, use your whip gently to guide them round to an area where you can. At this point, jump on. If they start to walk off, do exactly as you would on the ground and walk them round the block until they stop. Once they’ve stopped (or if they didn’t move in the first place), jump off but make sure you get off the wrong way. Yep, that’s right, the wrong way. Typically, when trying to mount from the ground, horses react by sticking their bums out. The more often you jump off the wrong side, the less they’ll want to do this as they will be waiting for you to get off.
Again, you’ll need to repeat this a few times but it shouldn’t take long. Once you feel comfortable and confident, you can walk on. Just make sure that when you get on in the future, you stand still for a minute before walking off, don’t undo the training by walking as soon as you get on.