In an earlier post, I mentioned that one of my criteria for getting on a horse for the first time is to know that they can stand quietly at the mounting block while I move around them.
Here is a video of my first time working with Moon as part of that preparation. My main approach with this ground work also translates to many other applications beyond the mounting block as it teaches the horse to yield to pressure and remain calm and relaxed to stand.
My key components for this prep work for the mounting block include:
Please keep in mind that there are several mistakes by both Moon AND ME in the video, but I don't edit those out because I think it's important for everyone to see that perfection is the enemy of good. The key to training a horse is to remain patient, go slowly and celebrate the small successes. It's also important to acknowledge when you have advanced too quickly or stacked too many requests on at once. Give your horse mental and physical breaks and don't nag and get caught up in the details. If you do mess up, just know that you're not the only one out there who isn't perfect :-)
By Kyle Rothfus
This blog is dedicated to providing insight about OTTB re-training, Thoroughbred pedigrees and general equine care. You can also track the progress of horses I have for sale through posts here.