Readers Write In: Mounting Block Dilemma
Emma Louise Gallagher wrote “My 18hh ex-racer is petrified of mounting blocks! Been trying for 4 year now! 🙈 plus he hates people stood on the block next to him, then freaks when you try get on him! He’s currently a field ornament 😖”
The team at Everything Horse turned to professional event and ex-racehorse trainer, Victoria Bax to help out.
“Race horses are used having their rider “legged up” as they walk along, so it is not surprising they do not know about standing still or mounting blocks. You need to be calm and patient and build their confidence step by step.
Find someone to help you. Walk him in hand past the mounting block little and often until he will do this calmly. Then do the same but include some halting in and around the mounting block too. Reward the horse with a treat when he stands calmly. Don’t stand for too long to start with as they can be impatient, so start with a small time period. Gradually build this up until he eventually will stand near it for a longer period of time.
Then introduce someone standing on the ground then sitting on the mounting block. Again reward and treat for good behaviour.
Ask your helper to step on the mounting block but squatting, reward and treat.
Next ask your helper to stand on the mounting block and walk past then eventually stand next to it. Reward and treat good behaviour.
None of his can be rushed, it will take some time to get this far but once the horse realises there is nothing to be scared of he should stand happily by the block.”
With thanks to Victoria Bax
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