Teaching your DOR to use a mounting block

All of our DORs have seen the movie cowboy who jumps off the hotel balcony onto his horse's back. When they were kids they probably dreamed of being able to mount a horse that way. As a horse I know better, I wince every time I see it.
Not only is it not a pleasant experience for me, but your DOR can get hurt. While there are only a few DORs who will insist rudely jumping on their horses from buildings or other stationary objects, there are plenty out there who plop down on their horse's back when mounting. Why? It takes little extra effort to sit down lightly and is less likely to cause pain in their rears. If you want to have a long, pleasant relationship with your DOR, get them to think when they sit. Teach your DOR to let their your down easily as they settle into the saddle.
Many DORs think mounting blocks are for people who are not flexible enough to mount a horse without one. I would ask everyone to think of what happens when you mount a horse by pulling sideways on the saddle as you heft your weight into one of the stirrups. The horse's spine is pulled sideways-not only that but you get the saddle shifted into the wrong position
When there is a mounting block, have your DOR use it. By using a mounting block, the rider doesn't look so silly trying to haul themselves up into the saddle.
So here is what I have been doing with my DOR. I have been training her to stand quietly on the mounting block while I get myself in position to allow her to mount. If she is twitchy I move off and start repositioning myself once more. Once I am in position I allow her to pat me and lean across my back, building up her confidence in preparation to sit in the saddle. As long as she remains confident I will stand still, but if she appears nervous I will start the process all over from the beginning. Next I have her place her foot in the stirrup and she uses my mane, the pommel of the saddle, and a slight hop to get herself up in position to throw her leg over and sit down. I give my DOR one practice hop and then she is to get one, any more and I know she isn't confident and I make her start clear back at the beginning. Once she throws her leg over and sits down gently I reward her by standing still-if she flops down I will dance around a bit to let her know that was NOT okay. I have my DOR practice mounting until she can sit quietly . She has managed to mount properly for the past three days, but that does not mean that I can be complacent-it is possible for her to forget her training.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Amanda said...

If you reallywant to have a hootenanny of a good time try and convine your DOR to get one of the luittle mounting aid stirrups that hang down from the saddle horn like the one on this site.


HAHAHHAHAHAAHHA the shocked look on their faces when they land on the ground on their backs is to die for. Try to act sympathetic if possible.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Lucky for me, my DOR can't use thos mounting aid stirrups-or I am sure she would!
The DOR is thinking about getting one of these http://www.nationalbridle.com/product-p/1-6512.htm for trail rides. I will have to hang my head in shame when the other horses see it.


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