Mounting... HELP! (my fault... not the horse's)

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Mounting... HELP! (my fault... not the horse's)

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  • Practice how to get better at mounting horse
  • Not strong enough to mount horse

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    09-12-2008, 07:07 PM
Mounting... HELP! (my fault... not the horse's)

OK... I've probably only mounted on my own a few times, in all of the times I've ridden. And almost all of them were ponies. So now... the BO is wanting me to just be able to go in, tack up the horse (or have him tack up the horse), and then I mount on my own and ride off... the problem is... I can't get more than a couple of feet high!

I have the stirrups all the way down... so they're the lowest they can be. I have my foot in the stirrup, I'm standing towards the back, and am almost getting a running start, but can't pull myself up. He ends up having to half push me up.

I'm pretty sure it's because my leg muscles aren't strong enough, or that I'm not relying on my legs enough, and too much on my hands... but do you guys have any tips? There aren't any mounting blocks, and the fence won't work because it's just a top rail and nothing else (it's a ring, not a pasture). And the other fence that has more rails is electric.

Once again... got any tips? For exercises to strengthen those leg muscles, for tips on how to get that "bounce", etc.

The horse is still... so I don't have to worry about that. I just have to keep my hands on the reins otherwise he likes to move off as soon as I'm on. I can ride fine when I'm on, as well as dismount fine... :P
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    09-13-2008, 11:35 AM
Here's a trick if you have a calm and steady mount ( until you are stretched and limber and strong enough to mount from the ground.)

Get something lightweight- a feed bucket even. Tie a long string on it. Hold that string in your left hand. Stand on bucket with right foot ( you are now a foot taller) put left foot in stirrup and swing over. Do it quickly. Pull the bucket up with the string you are holding or just leave it where it was. There is even a mounting fold-able tripod you can buy. I know sells it... dunno about other places. That's Schneider's tack.

The trick to a good mount is don't over think it. The push/legs and pull /arms should be one fluid motion together. If you are short, or just short legged, or heavy, or the horse tall..... I personally think the use of a mounting block is good horsemanship. It is far more comfortable for your horse. However, you may need to mount somewhere where you have to go straight up and in the saddle - so do those leg stretches and practice. Practice Practice.

Also, if you are on any kind of hill have the horse down hill from you - that makes you taller and the horse shorter.
    09-13-2008, 04:34 PM

I'm 5'9", with long legs... and the horse I ride isn't ridiculously tall, I'm somewhat heavy... but not majorly anymore. I've just never done a real mount on a horse (ponies are somewhat different... in size) before on my own... so I'm unsure as to how to go about it.

I'll continue doing squats and stuff. Buckets really aren't an option... not because it'd spook the horse, but because I'd feel VERY ridiculous having a bucket next to me while the BO holds the horse and is standing right next to me. :P

I'll do stretches and work on leg muscles... out of the saddle. I probably won't be able to ride until Monday or Tuesday... I have to find SOME way of getting out there first... :P So I'll have some time.

Any exercizes I can do at home that "simulates" it? Like... something where I jump or something?

OH... my entire family has some sort of "deformity, default, deficiency" (unsure of the right word) when it comes to jumping... we just can't jump...

So if mounting takes jumping... I might be in trouble. But I need to know how to mount on my own if I'm ever going to own a horse.
    09-13-2008, 05:04 PM
Well, this is what I do:

- get your reins and a lump of mane in your left hand
- left foot in stirrup
- bounce, bounce, bounce
- jump (well, just kindof bounce high)
- swing you leg over
    09-13-2008, 10:47 PM
Tip: wear loose or very stretchy pants or riding breeches. Otherwise the pressure from the fabric will work against your muscles.

Where are you standing to mount? Try standing at the horse's shoulder, facing the butt. Put your foot in the stirrup and use the twist motion to help with the swing to get up.

Home practice -- "sit" against the wall. No chair -- your back is firmly and completely on the wall, your feet are on the floor and there is a 90 degree angle at your knees. Practice holding that position for up to a minute -- it will take a while to get up to a minute, if you even make it, but the practice to get there will help you. You may have to start out with greater than a 90 degree angle, but work your way there. In the morning once or twice and at night once or twice. It will take only 2 minutes out of your day at the most to start. A very, very good leg muscle strengthening method. Works for riders and downhill skiers both.
    09-14-2008, 12:34 AM
Originally Posted by moomoo
Well, this is what I do:

- get your reins and a lump of mane in your left hand
- left foot in stirrup
- bounce, bounce, bounce
- jump (well, just kindof bounce high)
- swing you leg over
That's what I do, too. I usually face the saddle or the horse's butt. Sometimes I count my bounces like this: One, two, three, up! In a steady tempo. I'm under 5'2' and have gotten on 16.2hh horses this way. When the horse was 17hh I cheated and used the fence. ;)
    09-17-2008, 12:47 AM
You sound exactly like me. I think its very important to be able to mount from the ground and like you...i absolutly refuse to use a bucket. One of the things I discovered that I was doing wrong from watching julie goodnight on rfdtv is incorrect hand placement when trying to mount. I was actually pulling the saddle down with me a little...making my footing not very firm and actually losing a few inches when trying to mount. Like someone already mentioned...face the rear of your horse, with your left hand get you a handful of mane, then turn the stirrup to face you and put your foot in the stirrup, put your right hand on the pommel (i think that's what its called...the part bellow the horn?) that's farthest from one fluid motion swing up and into the saddle. Im not saying your doing it wrong...that could be just me lol...i was holding the horn in my left and the back of the saddle with my right eeeeekkk!!!!
    09-17-2008, 04:31 PM
Originally Posted by sandy2u1
..i was holding the horn in my left and the back of the saddle with my right eeeeekkk!!!!
Umm... well... That's what I do. But, I don't really have a choice because Jade is too dang tall and I can't reach the other side of the pommel. But, I am tall enough that I just use my right hand as a starter and it's dropped very quickly. On my other horse, I could do it with my hands just on the front of the saddle. Harder with an English saddle though.

Lots of western riders put their right hand on the cantle. They actually "stand" in the stirrup and then release the cantle and swing into place.
    09-17-2008, 05:39 PM
Oh sorry I didnt realize you were talking about an english saddle. Stupid me lol. Let me shut up cause I don't know a thing about english saddles....ive never even had my butt in one. Well hopefully someone will help you find a solution to your problem. Gl
    09-17-2008, 05:56 PM
Sandi, FVG didn't specify what style she is using. I was just giving an example of why your method doesn't always work. Although I am going to try it next time I saddle up! (on my shorter horse).

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