How To Train A Horse To Stand Still While Mounting

How To Train A Horse To Stand Still While Mounting


If you’re reading this guide, it’s likely that you’ve been riding a horse for a while and are ready to take your training up a notch. One challenge that all riders face is how to get on their horse well—whether the equine partner stands in one place or moves around before the rider can get himself into the saddle. What if your horse walks off as soon as you start to mount? Or maybe it feels like your horse wobbles while you’re getting on, or is just plain uncomfortable with your mounting process? In this guide, we’ll show you how to help your horse learn how to stay still and comfortable when you get on him. It starts with understanding why this skill is important, what resources and equipment will help you train more effectively (including treats!), and exactly what steps are involved in training an older horse who’s used to moving around when his rider gets on him. Note: This method of training will only work for horses who have learned basic ground manners—that is, who stand still for grooming and saddling—and for those who know basic commands like “stand,” “back,” and “walk.”

Why you’d want to train your horse to stand still while mounting

Because it’s safer, easier and less stressful for everyone involved. When you mount your horse while he is standing still, you can grip the saddle with both hands and avoid hanging on to the reins with one hand while trying to get your foot in the stirrup. This makes mounting much easier and less stressful—for everyone involved!

How long to spend on this exercise

How long you spend on this exercise depends on the individual horse and their training level, but here are a few general guidelines:

  • Younger or more energetic horses may need more time to learn than older or calmer ones.
  • Horses who have been trained in other disciplines like dressage (which involves working with a rider’s legs) may be able to learn faster than those that haven’t.

What you’ll need for this exercise

  • You will need a horse.
  • You will need the willingness of that horse to learn new things.
  • You can also benefit from a good trainer and/or good horse and/or good trainer.

Step 1 (Establish a Cue)

Step 1: Establish a Cue

The first step in training a horse to stand still while mounting is to establish a cue that you can use consistently.

There are many cues you can use, including words and hand signals. You can use verbal commands such as “whoa” or “stop,” or even just clucking your tongue. Some people also like using body language, like tapping their heel against the horse’s side to stop it from moving forward.

You could also try using a whistle or clicker if your horse responds well to those sounds; however, these tools may not be effective for every horse because some horses might become startled by them and spook away from them at first sight (and others simply don’t respond).

Step 2 (Horse’s feet)

The next step is to make sure the horse’s feet are not in your way. You can use a footstool, or tie them if necessary, to raise and stabilize the horse’s feet. The lower legs should be raised and bent at an angle of approximately 45 degrees, with the heels on the ground and most of their weight resting on the frog (the fleshy part at the bottom of each hoof). This will help hold their weight when you mount up later on in your training session!

Step 3 (Release the cue)

  • Release the cue

When you release the cue, your horse should stand still and wait for you to mount. If he doesn’t, then you will have to repeat step 1 before continuing with step 4.

Step 4 (Put it all together)

In this section, you will put all of your knowledge together by practicing the steps you learned in previous sections. You will also learn additional ways to keep the horse still while mounting.

  • Walk up to your horse
  • Place your left foot in the stirrup and swing it over the saddle
  • Swing your right foot over the back of the saddle, at a 90-degree angle from where your left foot is located
  • With both feet firmly planted in their respective locations, grab onto the reins with both hands and pull them firmly down toward his chest (keeping them straight). This will cause him to step backward slightly as well as move his head back slightly so that he can see what’s going on around him better—this makes it easier for him to stand still while being mounted without moving forward or sideways. He may do this naturally if given enough room or if you have been training him well enough that he knows how important it is not only for himself but also for everyone around him who cares about keeping themselves safe by staying off any potential paths of danger!

With patience and consistency, you can train your horse to stand still while mounting

With patience and consistency, you can train your horse to stand still while mounting. This is a skill that can benefit both of you.

Once the horse has learned how to stand still for the rider’s weight, it will be much easier for him to hold his head down or up as needed when leading from a tie rail or standing in cross ties. It will also make riding more comfortable for both of you if he does not have an opportunity to try and escape when being mounted by releasing tension in his neck muscles by looking away from where he is supposed to be looking (in this case toward the rider’s leg).


Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to train your horse to stand still while mounting. This is an important training step that makes it safer and easier for you to get on your horse. Remember, patience and consistency are the keys to success with this exercise. By starting slowly and continuing with short, frequent sessions until you’re successful, you’ll make this a new habit in no time.

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