This might be a dumb question... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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post #12 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 12:55 PM
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I am a dressage reder ustabe: now I ride Western for a variety of reasons. I can't stand depending on a mounting block or another person for mounting because I fall off all the time. But you have to bounce, and then trying to be as light as possible, kind of lean gently over the saddle once you are up. I HATE it when the saddle slips! Also, if you use a handful of mane, that helps.

Using a mounting block is easier on the horse, though. My most embarrassing Western moment re: saddles happened just recently. I was trying asaddling method that a friend showed me, where you swing the saddle back and forth, ant then gently swing it into place up on the horse's back. I was doing this, but my saddle is a heavy Black Rhino, and I lost control... The whole saddle went sailing through the air, barely missing poor Ahab.

He just stood there, looking at me, like, "You are such a moron!"
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post #13 of 29 Old 06-25-2012, 01:04 PM
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I always use a mounting block. Or if I don't have one and there's someone around I get a leg up. I ride almost entirely ponies, so this is pretty sad, but I can't get on from the ground. If I do manage to get myself up, I pull the whole saddle around. (For the person who said that if your saddle slips, your girth is too loose- I have to disagree. I only weigh 100lbs, and even when I feel like my girth is too tight I still pull the saddle a bit.)

Anyways, I think it's just a preference. I try to only mount from the ground when necessary, such as out on a trail. If you're light it shouldn't be too big a deal, but I think it's better to be gentle on your horse's back.

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post #14 of 29 Old 06-27-2012, 02:12 PM
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#1 Girth should be tight enough so saddle doesn't slip as you mount. Think of it this way - you are riding, horse spooks, you go left horse goes right. If girth isn't tight enough saddle will follow you and could end up underneath the horse. Even if saddle doesn't move that much the fact that saddle moves will make it harder for you to stay on.

#2 Mounting blocks are used for a variety of reasons.
A. Older rider like it cause it's easier on our knees.
B. Most people like it cause it means less torque on the saddle - so less stretching of the stirrup leathers and less torquing of the saddle tree.
C. When some people mount they inadvertantly "gig" the horse with their toe - encouraging horse to move as rider mounts - something which should never occur if horse is well trained (and rider isn't digging toe into horse encouragin horse to step forward as it's being mounted).

That said for safety's sake it's a good idea for horse to coorperate with being mounted from ground or ANYWHERE (like truck bumper, tree stump, etc.) rider may need to mount horse.

Dressage is for Trainers!
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post #15 of 29 Old 06-27-2012, 03:36 PM
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Using a block is easier on the horse, easier on me, and easier on my tack... so if it's available, why not? Plus my horse is 17hh, so mounting from the ground just isn't all that fun.

With that said, your girth should be tight enough that your saddle doesn't slip. Now of course, sometimes this will happen regardless. I used to occasionally ride an Arab with no withers and an incredibly round back, and no matter how tight the girth was, there was often still saddle slippage, even when children mounted her. So while I think a small amount of slipping is normal in some instances, if it's bad enough that you're scrambling as you're trying to mount, then you might want to see if you can go up a hole or two. I agree with those that have said they tighten it, walk their horse, and tighten it again.
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post #16 of 29 Old 06-29-2012, 07:58 PM
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i never use a mounting block. i dont have one and i dont need one. i have the girth done up tight enough so that the saddle doesn't slip. if it slips when you get on, then it will probably slip when you are riding :) one the first time i cantered my old 10h shetland, the girth wasn't done up tight enough and sliped sideways. i went with it :P
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post #17 of 29 Old 06-30-2012, 04:46 AM
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I always use a block if I can for the horses sake - or I finder lower ground to put the horse on - I can mount from the ground easily enough if needed though... some saddles will move more that others as well - I keep my girth quite firm myself....
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post #18 of 29 Old 06-30-2012, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by poniesis mee3 View Post
i never use a mounting block. i dont have one and i dont need one.P

I've used a mounting block for years, ever since I had a bad riding wreck that limits how high I can lift my legs.

If I have to dismount on the trail, I find logs, stumps, etc. I bought a trail stool recently, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

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post #19 of 29 Old 06-30-2012, 08:23 AM
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I don't use a mounting block. I never got around to making one, refuse to pay $60+ for something I could make myself, my horses are practically midgets (14.1 and 14.3) and at this point in life I'm pretty light about popping aboard from the ground. Not textbook-ideal, granted, but I've not had a problem. If there's a handy stump or low spot, I do take advantage of it. I keep my girth quite firm; I can get my hand between it and the horse, but the saddle certainly isn't going anywhere. After I mount, I generally step into the off-side stirrup to rebalance a bit, and everything's good and straight.

Most English riding instructional books, and a lot of dedicated-English riding instructors, very highly recommend using a mounting block or having someone hold the stirrup on the off side to prevent the saddle from torquing or from pulling the horse's spine. I've always read/heard/been told that the difference is that the western saddle has more surface area and a sturdier tree that makes mounting from the ground less potentially injurious to tack or horse. I've seen English equitation classes in which the riders were asked to dismount and remount where the ring steward held the off stirrup for each rider, and a block was provided for the truly tiny riders or ginormous horses.

Some horses, usually those that are either carrying some extra weight or have naturally low, flat, or mutton-withers, just always have a little saddle slippage during mounting, whether the girth is downright sloppy-loose or squeezing them in half. A little slip (i.e., pulling the saddle off-center, not twisting halfway down the horse's barrel) is to be expected, IME. Just step in the off stirrup to realign and go on your merry.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #20 of 29 Old 06-30-2012, 09:24 AM
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You can also mount/dismount from the right side from time to time to minimise uneven stretching of stirrup leathers when mounting from the ground. As a plus, it's good for the horse to be used to being mounted from either side, just in case one day you're on a really narrow bit of trail or whatever and you can't get on/off on the left...

Four horses, two people. 4000km in to the South American leg of our trip,and now in Brazil. Drop us a line on The Great Horse Trip
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