Okay, so I have a *slight* issue. I tore my rotator cuff pretty badly last year and haven't been able to get it fixed because of stupid insurance and other stuff. So, I can't lift any substantial amount of weight (like a saddle :?) above about shoulder height and I have somewhat limited range of motion (I say "somewhat limited" because it really depends on the day as to how much I have). This also presents a problem when I'm mounting a horse because I can't pull myself up into the saddle like normal. I can get about halfway up with leverage "kicking off" with my right leg from the ground, but I get my chest to seat-height and I can't get the rest of the way up. It's beyond embarrassing, because even on short horses, I have to either use a mounting block or get a leg up. I rode a 15.2hh dude string horse from the stable where I board on Saturday and had to have the BO boost me up (which someone needs to teach that man how to give a leg up because the way he did it was BEYOND embarrassing and if I didn't know him, I'd have screamed "sexual harassment") because the horse I was riding did not lead to or stand at the mounting step they have (according to the BO). I am DEFINITELY going to teach Aires how to lead to and stand at a mounting block/step/whatever, but in the meantime, does anyone have any tips on how to mount a horse from the ground that DOESN'T involve pulling myself up into the saddle? I couldn't even get on my friend's 14hh arab mare the other day in the arena. She had to lead her over to the fence so I could mount from there. :oops: It doesn't help that I'm overweight (working on it!!), either, but even when I was about 20lbs lighter (last fall working at the Girls Scout horse camp) I couldn't mount without help.
I don't have any advice with regards to getting on from the ground but just wanted to say there is no shame in using a mounting block or getting a leg up from somebody. It takes the pressure off your horses back and stops you twisting the saddle which will make the tree last longer.
Obviously there are times when there is not a handy mounting block or spare person to help but I certainly wouldn't feel embarrassed about the fact you require either.
I've been riding for almost 33 years, and for the last 23 of them I've used a mounting block. I had a bad riding wreck when I was 30, and it tore all the muscles in my lower back and pelvic region. Because of that, I can't lift either of my legs high enough to mount from the ground.
There's absolutely no shame in using a mounting block, and as Michelle stated, it's actually easier on the horse's back if you use one because you're not wrenching them to the side every time you mount.
In fact, as soon as I show up with mine, almost everyone in my riding group asks to use it. :-P
Also, don't be afraid if you fall off or need to get off your horse at some point during your ride. I found that rocks, downed tree branches, stumps, etc. work great for giving you just enough leverage to get back in the saddle.
I use the block 100% time since I switched to english (I also used dairy box and currently have light step-up from HomeDepot in my trailer to get on). It shouldn't take long to teach your horse to stand quiet while you are climbing on. Usually couple sessions is enough to teach it to wait for you. :-)
I have always used a mounting block.
Like SR said, there is always something you can use to get back on if you end up having to get off out on a trail.
i am only 25 and i use a mounting block every time i ride. My issue is my height, not quite 5'0 and my hubby got tired of having to come outside to give me a leg up. So he built me a mounting block. I not only have no shame, but i prefer it.
I use a mounting block the whole time for the good of my horses back, because I'm a nice person.
It has nothing to do with the fact I'm old, fat, and have dodgy shoulders, back and left knee, no siree it's for the good of the horse.
Hey, that is the reason I have always given.
It has nothing to do with my lack of athletic ability and me being so uncoordinated that I can not get up there even if I wanted to.
I rode at a stables in the UK who wouldn't let ANYONE mount from the ground as a regular thing. Everyone was taught to do so, but as a general rule everyone used the block.
The good of the horse, yeah, that's it!
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