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SailorGriz 11-28-2010 08:00 PM

Re-mounting on the trail
OK, I've never seen John Wayne have this problem. Sigh.

I'm a fairly tall, large, man. 6'1" most days. So, I have a fairly tall, large, horse. 16.2 hh.

Although I'm tall, I have short legs--which means my stirrups hang pretty close to the saddle. With a tall horse the saddle sits pretty far up in the air. Which, obviously, means the stirrups are way up there, too. In fact, they are well above my waist when I stand beside the horse. Ain't no way I can get a foot into the stirrup from the ground.

Mounting with a mounting block is even a problem. I can do it, but I really need a taller block than the one I now have. Sigh.

On the trails it's a REAL challenge! When I'm up in the mountains I can generally find a spot where the trail cuts into a hill and use the side of the trail for a block. Or a log or stump.

The problem is when I'm riding in the prairie around home. No convenient high spots to sidle up against to re-mount. And there is no way I could ever get up on Mr. Big without standing on something pretty high.

Any ideas? I tried carrying a little folding stool but it sunk into the ground, was unstable, and wasn't tall enough anyway.

Anyone else have a similar problem? How did you solve it?


Amlalriiee 11-28-2010 08:05 PM

Do some jumping drills to build up leg muscle???! hahaha that's the only thing I could think of besides being uphill from the horse or standing on something. Generally my plan is to ride a horse 14.3 or smaller, but I'm only 5'2" so I can do that.

GreyRay 11-28-2010 08:24 PM

Get really good at jumping/pull ups.

sullylvr 11-28-2010 08:35 PM

well im 5'11" and honestly (mabye its just cause im a girl and more flexible) i just reach my foot into the stirrup, grab mane and hop up. done this with horses as big as 17hh. but i guess it did take practice cause i have been using a mounting block and hopping up is becoming increasingly hard. sorry this didnt help.. mabye you could lengthen your stirrup as long as it goes to make it easier to hop up on then shorten it once your up?

NorthernMama 11-28-2010 08:43 PM

You can lower the stirrup for mounting, then bring it back up to the height you need for riding. Or you can buy a "mounting stirrup". I assume you ride western, so this mounting stirrup is basically a stirrup on a strap that loops over the horn.

WickedNag 11-28-2010 09:32 PM

So at 5'3" and riding a 16.1 gelding and being older, I hate getting on my big boy but fortunately I still can. It really helps if I put him on the down side of a slope though :)
I have heard of people like these (see link) but have never used them.
Mounting Stirrup: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies -

SailorGriz 11-28-2010 09:43 PM

I'd thought of trying something like a mounting stirrup but didn't get it done and then forgot I'd considered it. Guess I didn't realize you could just order one! I don't have a western saddle, but I can figure some way to attach it.

Probably start by making one out of available strap and a spare stirrup to see if it works. Of course, there is very little difference between a "prototype" that works and the final solution to a problem! :lol:

Maybe tomorrow I'll find time to try it out. Gee, that'd mean getting Big all tacked up, wouldn't it? And THAT would seem like such a waste if I didn't go ahead and take him for a ride while he's all decked out. Gosh. Son-of-a-gun. Such a shame. NOT! ;-)

Thanks for the idea!

tinyliny 11-28-2010 09:58 PM


I know your pain. I am a medium short fat lady, so getting on from the ground is like impossible for me. I just have to find something.
There are these sort of mounting gizmos you can get that wrap around your stirrup and hang down and have an auxiliary stirrup that will hang a good 10 inches below the stirrup. You attach it, get up, then lift your stirrup up and deattach it and put it in your saddle bag. It's very lightweight, nylon webbing . Something like "easy mount" . Look on the web. Google "horse mounting assistance" or something like that.

equiniphile 11-28-2010 10:16 PM

You could teach your horse to lay down and get on that way :D

masatisan 11-28-2010 10:46 PM

There's a mounting stirrup that works english or western and you can make one at home fairly easily. You just need a drill, a strong length of string, a little piece of strong flat wood about 1 inche larger than the bottom of your boot and 1-2" wide, a .5" round dowel the same width as your stirrup and a marker.

1) drill a hole in both ends of your wood dowel and stirrup base, if necessary, sand the ends of the pieces of wood so they are smooth

2) measure a length of strong cord by looping it around both sides of your stirrup on your tacked up horse, so that there are two lengths parallel to the width of your stirrup. Reach your foot as high as it will go, holding the horses mane in your mounting position. Take your string at that spot and mark it (do not tie knots. You may need an assistant, or you may need to do a little approximation).

3) Loop the string through the dowel first then through the flat board. Tie the string so that the marks you made are at the holes. Tie the strings by looping them together in a half hitch (leave a tail about 6-10"), this way, you can adjust it easily.

3.5) (optional) glue something like sandpaper, or kitchen mat to your stirrup for better traction

4) before going out for a ride, test your stirrup. put the dowel through the stirrup and make sure you loop the stirrup through over the dowel this secures the stirrup and greatly reduces the pressure on the dowel.

Ride on friends!

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