Sam grew on me over the winter. He was around 14 hh and he is now over 15. When I first bought him I could easily move my left foot into the stirrup without using my hands. Now I have to use a hand to get my foot securely in the stirrup. It's not a flexibility issue, it's that the stirrup is just too dang high now! I am 5'3" not much over ideal body weight, relatively active.
It shouldn't be that hard for me, but it is.
I have found that when I remember
to stand close to Sam, it is not as difficult. Also, I started mounting using his mane/neck rather than my saddle. I believe many people will argue that this is how you SHOULD mount a western saddle, but it wasn't taught to me. I overheard people talking one day and that was how I was clued in. Once my foot is in the stirrup and I have a handful of neck/mane, I push my hips in towards my left leg and begin putting weight into the stirrup. I give a little pre-cursor bounce and then really push off with my right leg immediately transferring my weight into the left stirrup and hoisting myself over.
Not very pretty but I get into the saddle without plopping onto Sam's back. I really wish he had not grown.
I am fortunate that he doesn't mind my toes in his ribs. I keep trying not to dig into him but it is hard. The last time I gave him a toe in the ribs he looked back and I reminded him that at 4 yrs of age he had no business growing an entire hand and then some!