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This might be a dumb question...
This might be a dumb question....
But I'm starting to ride english now and then, and I was wondering if you are always suppost to use a mounting block or have someone help you get up in your saddle? The people in my 4-H group (they are just western riders like me) are learning along with me and I want to check what they've told me to do.
They said that my cinch shouldn't be super tight on my english saddle, and have showed me how tight it should (according to them), but every time I try to mount my saddle slips. Not a lot, but just enough to make it annoying. It's not loose enough to be dangerous, but it's not as tight as I would have my western saddle be. I asked them about this and they said I have to use a mounting block or have someone hold the other side of the saddle when I mount, and that it's suppost to be like that.
Can someone educate me about this and make sure I'm doing it right? I hope I explained it well, its hard to put into words... :P
I trust these people, but since they're new to english riding too, I want to check what they're telling me.
Please no rude comments, please remember this is all new to me!! I am a western gal through and through!
I always use a mounting block, simply for the horse's sake. As for the girth, I keep it tight, but I can always slip a hand through it with ease.
There's no unwritten rule in English about using mounting blocks, it seems to be barn specific whether or not they want you to. As Jore mentioned, it's always good to use a mounting block for the sake of the horses back - it's just easier on them.
In English riding we refer to the cinch as a girth. If your saddle is slipping when you mount then the girth is definitely not tight enough. Make sure when you do up the girth that you hand walk the horse around then re-check the girth as some horses will bloat up.
I always use mounting block with my english saddle. Most people I know do. It's not a must, but it's convenient, you won't have saddle slipping, and it's easier on horse. I never used the block when I was riding in Western saddle, BTW.
With the girth while it shouldn't be very tight, it still should be tight. I tighten it when I saddle, and then I add another hole or two up when we come to the arena just before I get on. Some horses are extremely good about sucking the air in when you first tighten the girth, so you want all this air out before you get into the saddle.
I usually get someone to help me mount or use my well cover (I don't have a mounting block) because mounting from the ground stretches you stirrup leathers, can make your horses back sore, and twist the tree of the saddle, I've seen some older english saddle when looking straight down them, the whole thing is twisted bad to the left. It's easier just to get a leg up or use a mounting block, keeps me from worrying about those things.
Now another question, what do you do if you're trail riding in an english saddle?
For your new question, you're allowed to trail ride in any saddle and I use a block regardless of what style I'm riding that day. Easier on my horse's back and my joints too.
Out on the trail, I would find a stump to use. If I couldn't find one, I would just mount from the ground, but you have to bounce yourself up there, and not haul yourself up using the saddle.
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