Sound Advice: Five Ways to Have the Best-Behaved Horse at the Mounting Block


Everything you do with your animal is training—whether it is right or wrong. Horses learn the wrong things as quickly as the right ones. The simplest exercises make you the trainer and help you to teach the right things! Here are five easy steps to train your horse to stand quietly while you’re mounting.

1. Have someone hold your horse’s head when you mount to make him stay still until he has learned what you are asking. 

2. Mount in the same place (preferably from a mounting block) until your horse has learned to stand still.

3. Mount correctly. Hold shortened reins in your left hand. Put your left foot in the stirrup and swing your right leg over the saddle. While standing with your left foot in the stirrup, pick up your right stirrup. Sink gently to a sitting position with your horse standing still.

4. When you land on the saddle with all your weight, you are giving your horse a large signal to go forward as well as possibly hurting his back. Don’t wiggle and twist to get comfortable for the same reasons.

5. Your horse may walk forward only after you give him the signal to walk. See? You are already training.

Robin Greenwood. Photo by Allie Conrad

Robin Greenwood 

Robin Greenwood is the owner and trainer of Grand Central ponies in Southern Pines, NC. She has trained dozens of ponies and riders to wins and championships at the National Horse Show, Indoors, Pony Finals, and many other top shows.

*This story was originally published in the May 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!