To Do or Not to Do

That is the question.

It’s been cold, raining and even snowing a little outside, that has given me time to catch up on some much needed house cleaning, sadly it must be done once in awhile, and to do some thinking.

As training methods evolve some parts become obsolete. Even if “everyone does it” how do we know if we need it or if we should let it fall by the way side? By we I mean I of course.

I teach all my horses to step over to a fence, gate, the pickup, what ever for mounting. For training purposes it allows me to sit on them long before their first ride. They see me out of the other eye and on both sides and feel my legs around them. They get squirmed all over, legs across their butts and toes in their sides. Basically they experience being ridden without the commitment to staying on the mounting requires. I’ve only done the ground work on a couple of horses that still bucked after doing it this way.

So, They still need to learn to be mounted. Don’t they? Or is it taught through the rest of the process? I was standing in the stirrup leaned over Rusty’s back the other day thinking how nice it was to be able to click him and offer a positive reward for what seemed like such an uncomfortable thing for me to be doing to him. It’s got to be uncomfortable with the uneven weight twisting the saddle around on his back. We’re trying to teach him that riding is ok, that I wont hurt him. How am I accomplishing that by, not hurting him maybe but not making it enjoyable either?

I understand and agree with the original purpose of the exercise, to get them used to seeing you out of the other eye and used to weight on their backs and a toe in their girth. I can see where they need to learn that method of mounting, maybe, maybe once they’ve been ridden for awhile and dismounted a few times it would just fit into the rest of the training. Because if they’ve already experienced all that is the practice still accomplishing anything? This is all philosophical, I’ve already done it and don’t think I will be doing it again with Rusty, but for next time and the sake of argument is there any point to it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *