Believe it or not, mounting can be just as dangerous as riding itself. If your horse happens to move or spook, right as you are getting on, things can go sideways in a hurry. It is important to take the time with your horse to make sure your horse is relaxed and confident at the mounting block and that you have the correct technique for mounting.
Here are a few tips to help you with mounting correctly:
Firstly I like to use a mounting block! Mounting from the ground is a great skill to have, but using a mounting block places less pressure on your horses’ back. Here’s a step by step guide to getting on:
- Bring the mounting block over to just underneath the stirrup.
- Hold your reins in your left hand and make them short enough that if your horse moves off, you can just squeeze your hand and ask them to stop
- I like to pause just before I get on and take a moment. Take some deep breaths and assess how your horse is feeling. If he’s go his head up, then talk to him, pet him, and calm him until he lowers it again.
- Grab some mane with your left hand (along with the reins) and the cantle of the saddle with your right hand
- Place your foot in the left stirrup and bring your knee in close to the saddle. This supports your leg when you mount.
- Bounce a couple of times and then stand up and lean over with out bringing your leg over.
- Lean forward and swing your leg over the saddle and sit gently into the saddle.
To dismount back onto the mounting block:
- Remove your leg from the right stirrup
- Gently bring your right leg back over the saddle.
- Place it in the middle of the mounting block
- Remove the left foot from the stirrup.
Here are some common mistakes that I see people make when mounting:
- Having two hands on the saddle. This means you pull the saddle out of place and risk hurting the horse’s back and having the saddle slip. (Make sure you grab the mane with your left hand)
- Having the reins too long! If the horse moves off you have no control over them.
- Kicking the horse when you swing your leg over! This could frighten them and get them to shoot off.
- Slapping down into the saddle. This will make your horse brace and is very uncomfortable for them.
Have a look at this video where I demonstrate all of this with the patient boy Mercurio! I also give a demonstration of how to get off onto the ground! If you like this video, please share it!
Thanks so much for watching.