Bow for mounting? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-10-2013, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Middle Georgia
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Bow for mounting?

Hey, all!

I have a 5(Will be 6 next month) year old Clydesdale/Belgian. She is about 17.3 hh. I bought her online from Indiana in 2010 and did not meet her until she arrived at the barn. I took a big risk, but she's turned out to be everything I wanted!
She was pretty green when I got her, only being ridden about 5/6 times. Since then I've had a trainer out to work with her a few times and worked with her myself more. Usually, when I ride, it's just hopping on bareback with a halter and lead ropes. Other times I'll throw the saddle on but I've never used a bridle on her. I am waiting on my bitless bridle attachment to arrive so I can start working with her in that, but with just a big, floppy halter she is WONDERFUL.
Now, with me being 5'1 and her being 17.3 hh, it's a huge hassle to get on her. I've used a fence, above ground pool ladder, buckets stacked on buckets, truck bed, and people hoisting me up. Even with a stirrup extender I can't get on by myself.
I was contemplating teaching her to bow for mounting. I mainly want to use her for trail riding and am afraid if I had to dismount for some reason while riding I wouldn't be able to get back on.

Has anyone tried this with a draft horse? She's very food motivated and will already follow the treat to between her legs.
Do you think it will hurt her back/joints to mount while she's bowing? I'm only about 115 lbs compared to her 1900, so I figure it wouldn't but I wanted to get some better insight.

Any tips of advice on this would be GREATLY appreciated. :)

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post #2 of 15 Old 01-10-2013, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Iowa
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It is hard for a horse to get up. Just watch one and they struggle a bit. With her size vs yours I don't think it would be an issue though.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Alachua, FL
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Don't know much about bowing, I'm with you I have to stay on or make sure something to step on is around before I get off. Thats why I don't ride as much as I drive, I can manage to get in & out of the cart by myself (at least for now) , but I love her coloring.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Indiana
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First, I would like to say that I think your mare is adorable! Second, I am currently teaching my horse to bow for mounting. I won't use it much but it's something fun to do and he already knows how to bow. When I first decided I wanted to teach him to bow I went online! lol Youtube, of course! And I found this guy's videos.

I couldn't figure out how to get the videos to show up on the forum.

Last edited by FaceTheMusic; 01-11-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Upstate, NY
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let us know how it goes.

i got my horse becasue the lady never rode her since she coudln't get her leg up to the stirup any more. so I would like to teach my mare how to do this too, she does a stretch/bow a lot when we open the door to the barn in the morning but it's so fast can't catch it and reward.

i will have to look at the videos, and keep us posted how it's going for you 2
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 09:53 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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Wow! you horse is beautiful!
I would not do it. It is very dificult for a horse of your horses size to get up.
The bigger they are of course the harder it is. Even without you on top it is difficult. I have had three Clydes and the reason I eventually put everyone down was because of bad hips. They just couldn't get up any more. Draft horses have a shorter lifespan to begin with, I wouldn't want to do anything to shorten it any more.
Whenever I get off on a trailride I make sure there is a log or a ditch or some such to get back on.

These are photos of Sam when He was down in the stall and couldn't get up. I was lucky Missouri has a group of large animal rescue people that could come and help, otherwise I would have had to put him down that day, as I had no idea how or the means to get him up.
It was dejavue, as 17 years earler I put Seamus to sleep in the same stall for the same reason.
Anyway after Sam was up I knew he was living on borrowed time.
He lived another year, sometimes he got up after a roll sometimes I had to get the tractor out and get him up myself, I had bought all the staps and such I needed. He was never let back in his stall again.

I wish I had another Clyde.

I had to take the wall down between his stall and the next because he had wedged himself up against the stall wall.

The rescue group put Sam on a glide and pulled him out after the front of the stall was removed.

Then they winched him to standing position.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chula Vista, CA
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Yeah, I'm saying to not do it either, especially with the big guys. There is so much weight and height for them to push up. I imagine it would wear on their joints.

I would opt to have a stepping block built. It will probably be very heavy, so you won't be able to move it around, but that is ok. You will just have to teach the horse to circle around the stepping block. It's not hard. I make my percheron do the work. I just stand on the top of a stepping block, picnic table...whatever I'm using and make her circle it until she is close enough for me to mount. She understands what I'm asking remarkably well.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 03:12 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: AZ
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I knew an older lady that had a QH..The horse was tall, the lady small...she would say I want up-the horse searched for a log, a fence panel, or something to help her climb up. All her horses were extremely well trained & did well in the show ring.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Clovis, CA
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I would agree with a lot of the posters that you don't want to put undue strain on your heavy horse, however if you ended up ONLY using it for emergency situations, I don't see an issue. Of course you would have to spend awhile doing it repetitively for initial training, but once she really gets it down you might be able to practice as little as once a month eventually, maybe less, just to keep it fresh in case a trail emergency DOES happen.

If you do decide to go this route, PLEASE remember to only use it in emergencies when you have absolutely no other options, or for VERY occasional refreshers.

In any case, best of luck to you and your mare. You two are adorable together and you both look super happy!
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-11-2013, 04:21 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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I am going to disagree that larger horses have a harder time getting up. They can due to age or health issues, including being overweight or out of shape. But not just because they are bigger.
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