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Icelandic Horse Connection

Clicker Training Horses to Stand at the Mounting Block

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I recently discovered that my saddle did not fit Harley properly, so until I can find, fit and afford another one, I decided I would try to ride bareback. This opened up yet another "hole" in Harley’s training. He absolutely HATES when I stand on the mounting block. The first time I tried to get on him, Harley was very uncomfortable next to the mounting block and would swing his hindquarters away from me every time I stepped up on the block. I had to have another horse and rider stand next to him to keep him from moving. This led me to begin doing clicker work with him by having him stand by the mounting block without moving.

Mounting

The first thing I did was practice leading and have Harley stop square. Then to walk Harley up to this barrel to see if he would stand beside it. He was very curious, but did not have a problem standing next to it.

Mounting

Mounting

I then progressed to leading him at liberty next to the mounting block and C/T each time he stood without moving. When he understood what I wanted him to do, I was able to take several steps away in each direction with him standing like a statue. He was doing what I asked of him, but his tail is swishing, so he is still uncomfortable.

Mounting

Look at this tail action! When I moved into this area he was not happy, although his ear is tuned-in.

Mounting

Mounting

After C/T each time he stood comfortably, I was able to stand in front of the block with him watching me with his ear, but no longer flicking his tail around.

Mounting

Mounting

We progressed quickly, but when I advanced to me actually standing on the mounting block, although he didn’t move, he was visibly upset with my position.

Mounting

In fact, he reacted quite aggressively, which told me to back up to basic foundation training.


"If you listen to your horse with more than your ears, you will hear him talking to you."~~JudyRyder Duffy

"...the rider who rests content... finds his horses going crazy, altho sometimes not violently enough to be noticed." ~~Colonel Podhajsky


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