How do you get into saddle without a step? Is it easy? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Question How do you get into saddle without a step? Is it easy?

Hey I'm a complete begginer and I've only ever used a step to get on a horse before and I was wondering how to do so without a step and if it's very hard... I know like with most things it'll need alot of practice... Any tips would be much appreciated :) thanks

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post #2 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 12:44 AM
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well theres no real "steps to step into a saddle" manual..its basically just practice and timeing. its all about getting enough momentum that you can hop swing your leg over and sit down (not plop down and mess up your horses back) in one smooth motion...
i for one have no coordination...and i have a 16.3hh horse. so its quite a feat..but i taught myself and him to jump on bareback by grabbing his mane and swinging up while he stands still...like i said. im not coordinated haha...

its just alot of practice to get it down smoothly

and i dont recommend trying to hop up bareback until you and your horse are both comfortable haha

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post #3 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 12:50 AM
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When you put your foot in the stirrup, think push instead of pull. Don't pull yourself into the saddle. You'll throw yourself and your horse off balance.
Use your upper thigh muscles to push off from the ground and into the saddle.

Oh, start stretching your inner thigh as well. You'll find it easier if you can stretch your leg high enough to get it into the stirrup.

It takes quite a bit of muscle to mount from the ground. Like Roper said, practice. Its just gonna take time and practice for your muscles to get the hang of it.
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post #4 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 12:54 AM
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Welcome

Seeing as you're an Aussie, I'll assume you're riding in an English saddle. Two ways - either get a leg up from someone, or mount from the ground. However, mounting from the ground isn't great on the saddle, stirrup leather or your horse's back so try only to do it when mounting from a block or getting a leg up isn't an option. Good thing to know if you're out on the trail though, nothing more annoying than having to get off to pick something up that you've dropped (glove, phone, water bottle or whatever) and not being able to get back on til you find a log or wall!

1. Make sure the girth is done up nice and tight - you don't want the saddle slipping. Test for any movement by putting your weight in the stirrup with your hand - really press into it for a few seconds and see if you can feel any slipping.

2. Do a few leg stretches. Pull your foot up behind you til it touches your butt cheek. It makes a massive difference in the reach your leg will have.

3. Make sure your foot can reach the stirrup. It might be a bit of a stretch, but if it's too far, then drop the stirrup down as long as you can - I usually don't drop down past the 2nd last hole however. Don't put your foot in just yet, however.

4. Take the nearside rein (the one closest to you) and hold it in your left hand at the top of the wither, with the horse's head turned slightly toward your side. Grab a bit of mane and wither as well. This will give you control.

5. Place your foot in the stirrup. With your right hand, grab the cantle (back of the saddle) and swing up, making sure you don't kick him with your right foot as it swings over his hindquarters, and that you don't toe him with your left foot. And you're up.

6. If you needed to adjust your stirrup length to get up, with reins secure in one hand (not looped around your arm) take your left foot out of the stirrup and lay your leg slightly behind the line of your stirrup (this will allow you to still have a secure seat). Feel under the jockey (small flap) for the stirrup buckle. Undo the buckle and place your foot in the stirrup. Take the leather up a few holes until it feels even with the other stirrup. You may need to adjust and check a few times. Finally, run the buckle up to the top of the stirrup bar and put the end of the stirrup leather back in its keeper.

Parts of a saddle: English saddle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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post #5 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
2. Do a few leg stretches. Pull your foot up behind you til it touches your butt cheek. It makes a massive difference in the reach your leg will have.
omg sorry but i can just imagine this going through your head as you prepare to kick someone in their tushy or some douche guy in his cajones!
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post #6 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Roperchick View Post
omg sorry but i can just imagine this going through your head as you prepare to kick someone in their tushy or some douche guy in his cajones!
You know me too well. Already.
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post #7 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by EvilHorseOfDoom View Post
You know me too well. Already.
only because i can picture myself thinking this as i prepared to do the same thing!
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post #8 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 01:05 AM
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I learned how to ride by mounting from the ground. When I got my first horse, I didn't have a saddle, so I learned how to mount bareback.

I was so cool back then :P

Then I was introduced to the block. Or uh... a dressage cone >_> And that became my mounting block for years. Now I'm so out of practice with mounting from the ground, I look like a bafoon trying.

When I first started riding, I was on QHs in a western saddle. When I switched to english, I rode larger horses in a smaller saddle, and thats when the dressage cone came in. I learned that if you need to mount from the ground in an english saddle, and the wither of your horse is 3 inches taller than yourself, its best to let down your stirrup a couple holes to make reaching your leg up easier. Even then, with her knee up in your ears, its very hard not to just drag yourself up. Take a couple hops with your leg in the sadde, grab a hold of some mane, and try to propel yourself up.

It'll be unpleasant and uncomfortable or both horse and rider. Letting the stirrup down will help with the climb though.
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post #9 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 01:08 AM
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i am not ashamed to awkwardly try and drag charlies big butt over to the arena fence so i can hop on his huge a** haha

but yeah. its basically just up to you to get a good technique and preactice it to get it smooth.
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post #10 of 69 Old 07-25-2012, 01:25 AM
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English saddle- I recommend using some sort of surface that's higher than the ground. A mounting block would work, or a leg up. Before Drifter out grew my saddle, I sometimes used the porch of a building near his barn area. It was only maybe 3 or 4 extra inches higher than the ground, but it did wonders for my ability to pull myself up since he is so dang tall!

Bareback- As I mentioned, Drifter has muscled up to the point my saddle no longer fits. We have been doing bare back rides while I am in between saddles. Finding one that fits his withers is ridiculously difficult. Anywho...I need to work on the swing myself up bareback thing, but right now I am ridiculously uncoordinated, need to work on some upper body strength and am only about 5'2 (barely) while Drifter is about 16.2 ish hands. To save us some time I taught him to let me mount from a fence. All I have to do is get him saddled, bridle on, etc and then go climb the gate that leads into our barn and give a whistle. He lines himself right up :) The days he is moving around or will not stand still have been days that I later found an issue with him when I looked. He knows his job and is happy to help me out as long as he's feeling well! I am wanting to eventually teach him to bow so I can mount bareback. Its taking a little while. But hopefully we will get it eventually :)
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