exercises to assist in mounting
I need help to figure out a way to mount my horse from the ground. Our cow horse club has put in new rules this year that state that every rider must show that they can mount unassisted from the ground and do an emergency dismount before they can participate in the cattle sorting (and any other ) event. A group of us are not quite so limber anymore (we are all in our 50's and 60's) and have been mounting using a mounting block. Does anyone know any exercises or anything we can do that might help us be able to mount from the ground again??
I would do leg stretches. Simple sitting, touching the toes, bend one leg at the knee-bottom of foot touching inside of other leg- and grab the other foot, switch..
'Butterflies' touch bottoms of feet together, and bend down as far as you can (legs will look like a butterfly)
I would also do the stretches where you put 1 leg up on a chair, and bend to touch your toes. Works great.
The more limber the legs, the easier the mounting.. Unless you're gonna swing up like, little joe, lol.
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Having spent more time than I would like over the last few weeks working on trailer loading issues with two horses, I have spent and incredible amount of time stepping up and down off of the trailer, which is just around knee high, I HIGHLY recommend it as a way of improving fitness and strengthening legs. Also try and practice 'mounting' on a gate or fence panel, it will help build the right muscles, and the right action.
It does seem a kind of draconian rule, I get the emergency dismount, that makes sense, but why do you have to be able to mount without a block I wonder?
Are you allowed to drop your stirrups down a few holes to get back on?
Not sure which leathers you have, but in a Dressage saddle its super easy to just pop the leather down so you don't have to reach so far.
I am short, with very short legs, and am able to get on most horses by putting the stirrups down to get on from the ground.
Leg stretches and stair climbing (2-3 steps at a time).
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Interesting rules. I have an old pelvis injury which doesn't keep me from riding, but makes it virtually impossible to mount a tall horse without a mounting block (or at least something to get a bit of height on). Do they have a medical exemption? Does 'from the ground' mean you can use a rock or two, or position your horse so that you mount from the upside of a slope? I can almost mount my little arab from the ground bareback when it comes to that, but I've found that mounting anything over 16 hands is difficult, at best, due to my injury.
The BEST way to learn to mount a horse from the ground is to find and use and mount a fence, ya know, the ones with 2-3 wooden rails. I used to teach lessons and Every one of my students started with the fence bc it doesn't walk off or shift away from you. Most people start by pulling themselves up, and that is counterproductive.
Your trajectory when mounting a horse is (ironically) the right side of the horse's neck. Look there, while using the fence. Put your L hand forward, and place your L foot on the rail, bend your knee and snug your chest to your L knee. Put your R hand on the top rail, in and around where the "cantle" would be, then bounce 3x, then stand, feet together for 10-15 seconds---COUNT THE SECONDS while you're learning. Then, lift your leg over the top rail and gently lower yourself down--your horse will appreciate this, later.
Practice this until you are smooth as silk, then try it on your horse. =D
Thanks everyone for your replies I will try the exercises suggested. We use western saddles so adjusting the length of them is a little more difficult than with an english type saddle. They lady whose property the cattle sorting, trail rides and other events are being held on is the person who is making these rules. She says she just wants to keep everyone who comes on her property safe and make sure they are fit and in control of their horse. She has a riding ring where the testing will be done. She would allow mounting from a slope or rock or something but she has a nice smooth sand riding ring. There may be a few 16hh+ horses in the group but most of us have stock horses around the 15hh mark.
I here ya there!!!
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