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This might be a dumb question...

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  • How to mount a plantation saddle

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    07-02-2012, 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by The Northwest Cowgirl    
Now another question, what do you do if you're trail riding in an english saddle?
I don't think anyone mentioned this, but as someone who's really short and always has trouble mounting from the ground, I find it extremely helpful to make the stirrup on the side I'm mounting from as long as I can (i.e., in the last hole) to scramble on when I don't have a mounting block. In that case, it's definitely helpful to have someone hold the off-side stirrup too to help your horse's back. Then once you're on, you can re-adjust the stirrup leather to the proper length for riding.
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    07-06-2012, 10:25 PM
Using the mounting block is more of a personal choice. However, your saddle should not be slipping when you mount your horse. That is a sign that your girth is way too loose.
    07-06-2012, 11:02 PM
I agree with every one =) I like to measure girth tightness by pulling my billet outward (With the girth attached ofcourse)- if there is any space between the billet/girth. Its too loose.
As for mounting blocks- Ever tried mounting from the ground with a flat/plantation saddle. Simply impossible LOL
    07-06-2012, 11:45 PM

It's no problem that you aren't used to english. This is an awesome place to learn!

I usually just get on without a mounting block from the ground by myself. Sometimes I will have someone hold the other stirrup for me for more security but that is not necessary. Of course, on some horses, it might be better, and if you are just learning how to mount english (there isn't as much to hold onto as western) it might be a good thing but it is simply personal preference. Make sure when you get on you are not gripping just the saddle, it shouldn't slip that much. It might slip a little bit (which I will get to in a minute) but then you should readjust it with your seat before you have your horse walk on once you get seated. Make sure you sit down slowly when you mount -- comfortably, as you would in a western saddle but just get used to the new feeling of the seat if you aren't used to it yet. When you mount, hold on to the horse's mane and the back of the saddle. It might help to hop a couple times to get more support.

Now for the girth...
The girth should not be too tight around your horse but it is crucial that it is not too loose. This is dangerous, as I'm sure you know... same thing as western. You should be able to fit 4 fingers into the side of the girth. But you should not be slipping from side to side and feel like you are about to fall off. If you are not sure have someone that is familiar with tacking up english to help you. If you use the same saddle and girth frequently, eventually you may be able to just memorize which holes are on each side and go from there (well, if you are riding the same horse in the same tack). For me, I think I'm on hole 5 on each side -- my girth is a little big on my horse!

I hope this helped you. Good luck and by the way, it's awesome you are working with several disciplines.
    07-06-2012, 11:55 PM
As others have said, its not necessary to use a mounting block, but it does make things easier. If your saddle slips while you're mounting, it could be something other than your girth. You could be hauling yourself up by the saddle (either using entirely your foot in the stirrup to step up and on, or holding onto only the saddle and pulling it to get you up), or your saddle may not fit correctly. A horse with a very round barrel and very little wither will also make it hard to mount without the saddle slipping. I think your best option is to practice mounting (repeatedly) both from the ground, and from the block, until you can do both with little to no slippage of the saddle.

In our family, and in our 4-H club, we use a block if its available, but mount from the ground if it is not, makes no difference if we are riding western or english.
    07-07-2012, 12:07 AM
I use a mounting block for my lessons because a) it's the instructor's rules and b) I'm short with bad knees. If I was on a trail or didn't have a block I'd drop the left stirrup several holes so I can reach. Nothing horse than being 5'2 and trying to hoist yourself up onto a 16.2 horse significantly taller than you.
    07-07-2012, 11:38 AM
Not a dumb question at all!:)
It sound's like your girth should be tighter. You should be able to pull it away from the horse when you pull but no more than 2 inches. Have your instructor or someone you know show you what I mean.
To get on, you should probably be using a mounting block. Trying to mount from the ground can pull your horses back out because of the uneven weight from you mounting. It's best to use a mounting block.
Hope I helped! Happy Trails!
    07-07-2012, 10:16 PM
If your saddle is slipping, the most obvious problem is a too-loose girth. However, a saddle will also slip if the tree is too narrow. Check both the girth tightness and the tree fit.
    07-07-2012, 11:05 PM
If there is a block avaliable to me, I use it. Unfortunatly, at home, There isn't anything to use, so I must mount from the ground.

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