How to Mount and Dismount a Horse Properly

Two Methods:How to MountHow to Dismount

You've got the horse. You've got the "know how." All you need now is to be able to get on and off!

Method 1
How to Mount

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    Step your horse up to a mounting block. It is important to use a mounting block so that you do not strain the horse's back muscles. Imagine if a person tried to climb up on top of you! If you do not have a mounting block, use the side of the arena, a block jump standard, or get someone to give you a leg up (see tips) or if you can reach the horses stirrup from the ground, use the ground.
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    Make sure that he is no more than a foot and a half away from the mounting block. This way, you do not have to jump across to get onto your horse.
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    Make sure your girth is tight and both your stirrups are down. Gather the reins in the left hand and, if you need to, grip a bit of mane with the left hand.
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    Put all your weight in your right foot and step into the left stirrup with your left foot.
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    Shift your weight from your right foot to your left, and swing your right leg gently over your horse's hind quarters. Be sure not to kick your horse while doing so! This could cause him to move forward and unbalance you.
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    Once in your saddle, immediately put your feet through your stirrups. Make sure the ball of your foot is centered in the stirrup and your heels are down and close to the horse's body.
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    Put your reins in your hands to hold them, make sure that they are not twisted, and put them inside your closed fists with your thumb folded over your reins, also, the reins should flow between your ring finger and pinky. Place the excess or "bite" of your reins going to the right side.

Method 2
How to Dismount

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    Avoid dismounting your horse facing towards his home. Doing so encourages him to get his ride over with and run home, creating a barn sour horse. Also check your surroundings and make sure you are not too close to another object on your left hand side before dismounting.
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    Take both your feet out of your stirrups. Do not keep your left foot in your left stirrup, this harms the horse's back muscles, and could end up getting you dragged by your horse if he decides to go for a stroll.
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    Swing your right leg over your horse's hind quarters. Do not kick him.
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    Slide down with bent legs. This is so your knees do not end up absorbing the shock of you hitting the ground.
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    Roll up your stirrup on the left side first. If you want to loosen the girth (only a hole or so) do so now on the left side.
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    Remove your reins from over the horse's head. Walk around the front of him to your right stirrup. Roll this one up also.
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    If you have a running martingale, now is a good time to detach the rings of the martingale from the reins.

Tips

  • Always mount from the left side.
  • If mounting by grass, be sure that your reins are tight. Do not ever let your horse graze with a bit in his mouth. It is very possible that your horse will choke on your bit.
  • How to give a leg up: Stand as if you were about to mount with a mounting block and bend your left knee. Make sure to hold onto some of the mane and the cantle. Have the person stand behind you and hold your left leg around your midcalf. Both of you count to three. Each time you hit a number, bend your right leg as if you were about to jump. This establishes a good rhythm. On three, jump up onto your horse. Bracing yourself on your saddle, swing your right leg clear over your horse. Again, do not kick your horse!
  • Only dismount when your horse is completely cooled down. Unless you plan on hand-walking him around.
  • Teach your horse to stand still. If he tries to walk off scold him. When he stands still, give him a reward or pat him. NEVER hit your horse. That would hurt him very much and he would be scared of you
  • Switch your stirrup leathers every month so that you don't end up with a really long left leather and a really short right leather.

Warnings

  • Always have proper safety gear. Helmet, and boots with a good heel are a must. Gloves are very helpful, and if you have short boots, half chaps work wonders. They also don't make it look as if you have "cankles."

Article Info

Categories: Riding