Mounting using the horn

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Mounting using the horn

This is a discussion on Mounting using the horn within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    02-05-2010, 05:20 PM
Mounting using the horn

This is an issue that really bothers me, I see it constantly. It is dangerous and bad for the horse. It puts pressure on the wither and pulls on the back. It also pulls the skin under the cinch. It can cause an ill-fitting saddle to shift to one side causing trouble for the horse when the rider tries to correct by leaning the opposite way, or worse, doesn't even notice and the saddle remains unbalanced. It can cause muscle damage, bruising to the wither, and even injure the spine.

This is an example that shows what I mean:
Before putting weight the saddle is positioned correctly

After putting weight, you will notice that the entire saddle has been pulled to the left

The most comfortable method of mounting, which applies the least pressure, is by placing the left hand on the lower neck or wither, and the right on the midsection of the seat or the far side of the cantle. Inserting the ball of the left foot into the stirrup. As you mount, you use the left hand to balance, and the left hand to pull along with hopping to gain momentum before pushing with the left leg. This ensures that the pressure is distributed evenly, and is easier on the horse, the rider and even the tack.
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    02-05-2010, 05:26 PM
Great post.

This is also a fab way of twisting and damaging the saddle tree.
    02-05-2010, 05:32 PM
Green Broke
You have to ask what happens when they try to mount with an english saddle
    02-05-2010, 05:37 PM
Originally Posted by Roperchick    
you have to ask what happens when they try to mount with an english saddle
lol good point!
    02-05-2010, 05:43 PM
Originally Posted by Roperchick    
you have to ask what happens when they try to mount with an english saddle
I'm considering posting a similar thread for mounting English style, to which the equivalent would be holding on to the pommel by grabbing where it clears the wither.
    02-05-2010, 06:08 PM
Originally Posted by LisaG719    
Great post.

This is also a fab way of twisting and damaging the saddle tree.
if that damages your tree your not out much and your horse is much better off.

I use the horsn to mount but I never use the cantle. I place my right hand on the horn and my left hand holds the reins and the mane. I then balance myself and step into the saddle. I have mounted a horse without the cinch done up and the saddle doesn't move so I tend to think it is not very uncomfortable for the horse.

The worst part of the way the woman is mounting is that when she has one leg in the air over the horses back she has to let go with her right hand.
    02-05-2010, 06:30 PM
Green Broke
This is actually a far bigger issue with English mounting then it is with Western mounting. I am failing to see how you could possibly twist a proper Western tree mounting this way. It may uncomfortable for the horse, but I tend to think it has more to do with the larger woman struggling to mount then it does actually grabbing the horn. A Western saddle is set up and designed in such a way that pressure would be evenly applied across the right side of the horses spine.

If you are a rider you requires the horn to pull yourself up, it doesn't matter if you're grabbing mane, you're still going to twist the saddle because you haven't learned how to solely use your lower body to mount. If you are an experienced rider, then grabbing the horn shouldn't matter because you wouldn't be exerting any force on it anyway, merely using it for balance as your legs did the work.

I essentially mount the same way kevinshorses does. My left hand holds the reins in front of the saddle, and my right hand will either hold the cantle briefly or grab the horn as I get my foot in.

Due to the design of an English saddle, I will NOT mount in one without a mounting block. I am a heavy person, and regardless of how quick and effeciently you mount, an English saddle is not designed to have that sort of force exerted on it. The vast majority of English riders should be mounting with blocks due to the design of the saddle.
    02-05-2010, 07:09 PM
Thank you Mikolaj, very informative. The way you describe your mounting technique is very similar to the method I mentioned as a good technique. I did not choose that lady because she is bigger, that has nothing to do with it, she is in fact an experienced rider, her size is no excuse for improper mounting techniques.

I brought this up for the exact point you are making, mounting solely with your lower body is not correct either. It places all the weight into one side of the saddle, exactly the same as pulling yourself up using the horn.

The method (for both english and western) I am trying to promote involves all four human limbs. The left arm, balances the rider and is used to push without using the tack, the right arm, is used to pull (or push depending on the height) simultaneously with the left leg, this minimizes the pull on the saddle and the horses back, and the right leg, is used to push off and aid with momentum. It is a very balanced method for both the horse and rider.

Mounting blocks are an amazing tool, but they are not always present and even if they are, knowing how to mount correctly is still extremely important.
    02-05-2010, 09:21 PM
Green Broke
When I mount I grab a bit of mane and the reins with my left and and then with my right hand I hold on the back of the saddle and get up into the saddle. I'm getting better each time I mount. It doesn't seem to bother my horse at all.
    02-05-2010, 09:24 PM
Green Broke
Oh and I don't really pull too much on the saddle. I like to think of my right leg as a spring and bounce up and lift...make sense?

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