Horse Moves When Mounting

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Won't Stand Still for Mounting

  1999 Cherry Hill      www.horsekeeping.com

Dear Cherry,

For the past month my 20 year old gelding will not be still when I try to mount up. He backs up, turns circles and won't stand still. He did not used to do this. Any suggestions?

Thanks,    Kelly


Hi Kelly:

When a trained horse begins to act differently all of a sudden, you can bet your boots that there is a specific cause.  In the case of your 20 year old gelding all of a sudden getting antsy when you are mounting, I immediately think that he might have a sore or weak back.  He seems to be anticipating you landing on his back and his movement tells us that he is trying to avoid it. Here are some areas for you to check:

The saddle might not fit his back.  Have you recently started using a different one?  Are you sure the saddle is the correct shape and size for his back?

You might be holding the bridle reins too tight causing him to back.

You might be holding one bridle rein (usually the left one) too short causing him to circle to the left and move his hindquarters away from you.

He might have sores or crusty scabs on his skin (hidden by his winter coat) where the saddle rubs.  Have you given him a very thorough grooming?

The saddle blanket might have burrs or something in it that causes him discomfort.

Any horse, but especially an older horse, takes longer to get "back in shape" after a time off.  If your horse's back muscles are not in shape, your weight landing in the saddle could cause him discomfort.  Older horses tend to develop a sway back and more prominent withers which often require special attention to saddle fit and pad/blanket choice.

Finally, check your mounting techniques.  Be sure you rise smoothly without pulling the saddle off to one side, swing your right leg over without bumping his hip, and land lightly in the seat of the saddle.

Cherry Hill

  2004 Cherry Hill

 

 

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