Natural DORmanship-mounting

Now it is time to teach your DOR to mount. While many riders mount from the ground, it will be much easier on you if you train them to mount using a mounting block. So let’s take a look at the mounting block method. Other than lining up to the block the same techniques apply to your DOR when they are mounting from the ground…well except your DOR will have to hop up and down like a rabbit in order to launch themselves from the ground.
From the mounting block:
Your DOR needs to understand that almost any object can be a mounting block; you can accomplish this by lining up to all types of objects and inviting your DOR to mount. Invite your DOR to mount by giving them that “come hither” look and then look at your saddle, you may need to repeat that several times before your DOR understands what you want. Remember the most common mounting blocks can be a plastic or wooden one or two step box where you will lead your DOR to stand so that they face you on the left side while standing on the mounting block. The mounting block should be very sturdy and not shift as the DOR steps up. Using items like buckets in place of a mounting block can cause your DOR to wobble and fall, this will spook them and they will be leery of using a mounting block in the future.
Some DORs are particularly ornery about using a mounting block; if your DOR is, you can try using “extinction” to alter their behavior-simple do not allow the DOR to mount unless they are standing on the mounting block. You can align your DOR on the left side. Tip your head towards your DOR, that way if your DOR looses their balance you can swing you hinny out of the way quickly.
Your DOR should have the reins in their left hand placed firmly on your neck where it meets the wither. If your DOR is not very balanced, encourage them to grab some mane so they don’t pull on the bit as they mount. Your DOR needs to face the saddle with their body almost facing your rear. You may need to move every they don’t do this. Remember to reward the try, stand still if the DOR is making progress. It they are not even attempting to get it right put pressure on them by moving rapidly away from the mounting block. The DOR needs to turn their stirrup place their left foot in. DO NOT tolerate a toe in your ribs, go directly to a level three correction if this happens…move rapidly away from the mounting block. The DOR may loose their balance and fall, but that is the natural consequence to their behavior and they will quickly learn to keep their toe to themselves. Once the DOR’s toe is properly in the stirrup, they should raise themselves off the mounting block. Make sure your DOR makes a pause before they swing their leg over you to sit down, after all they need to be polite. If your DOR does not pause start to walk off, in most cases this will cause them to return to the mounting block and start the process over. Your DOR should swing their right leg over the hinny without hitting you. If your DOR hits your hinny, a few episodes of “marbles in your nose” should encourage them to be more careful, if not throw in a small hop with your back legs. You want your DOR to sit down slowly, no flopping/dropping into the saddle. This is very important because this behavior could hurt your back. If you have a DOR who is a committed flopper you will need to immediately go to a level 4 correction, make them think the world will come to an end if they continue flopping.
I have included step-by-step instructions for you to share with your DORs

Proper mounting for dummies…errrr….DORs
Take the reins in your left hand (drape the slack over the horse's right side). Grasp hold of the base of the horse's mane with your left hand as well.
Use your right hand to turn the left stirrup toward you. Put your left foot in the stirrup, parallel to the horse's side.
Grab the back of the saddle, or cantle, with your right hand.
Bounce on the ball of your right foot.
Push off with your right foot and put your weight on your left foot (in the stirrup), while simultaneously pulling on the saddle and the horse's neck.
Balance on your hands and left foot in a standing position, then swing your right foot over the horse as you release your right hand from the saddle.
Lower yourself gently into the saddle.
Put your right foot in the stirrup and take up the slack in the reins.

Your DOR may need lots of practice to correctly mount. After all they need to be polite and unhurred at this stage of training.
Our next lesson will be riding a walk.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Rambling Woods said...

Jack..You are an excellent teacher. This is making me feel sad that I didn't take the time to go more often with my sister when she lived near me. Now she is out of state and I don't see her as often and I haven't been on a horse is a very long time....

Andrea said...

I am so glad your DOR has such a wonderful teacher. While I was at school we had a chance for some extra credit. We had to mount our horse wiht out a cinch. A few students did it. I on the other hand did not. I feel it was due to the fact that we didn't use a mounting block. I love a good mounting block.

Amanda said...

I am very happy to announce that I mounted Annie from the ground yesterday. I prefer a mounting block but it is nice to know I can get on from the ground if I need to. Annie misbehaved a few times though. She was mad because my neighbor I was riding with was ready to quit before me and I made Annie make the loop trail across the road by ourselves. She balked on me 4 times. It was as if her feet were in cement. I knew could not let her get away with it and got her going each time. She decided it wasn't worth trying it anymore and finished out the ride very well. Grumpy old gal!!


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