Let me explain...

Your pony may not be a wild, scared-of-everything bucking bronc but that doesn't mean they are confident. An unconfident horse can be one that just generally seems on edge and is slightly worried  about every little thing. A horse's confidence takes time to build and a simple task like mounting can be a big highlighter of lack of confidence.

The lovely Rain, who is currently spending some time with me to develop her foundation, has had a varied career, including riding; she has been cross country, she has driven, she has done pony club games and she has been in the show ring. However, yesterday, when I asked her to stand next to the mounting block so that I could get on, she couldn't do it.

Ponies like Rain try their hardest for us, which makes it all too easy to ignore the fact that they can't stand still for mounting. We often just hop on as best we can to do the ridden work we had planned, but it is these seemingly small things that make up the bigger picture.

I am a stickler for details and it's details like these that make me good at the job I love so much.

So the next time you try to get on your pony, take note of the little things:

  • Do you have to move the mounting block to them?

  • Do you have to have leg ups because your horse won't stand at the block?

  • Do they move their hindquarters away just as you try to get on?

  • Does their head pop up just as you hop yourself up to the saddle?

  • Do they have wide eyes and twitch when you touch them as you are mounting?

  • Do they walk off the second your butt is in the saddle?

Maybe it's time to slow things down and check your basics.