I have a 5(Will be 6 next month) year old Clydesdale/Belgian. She is about 17.3 hh. I bought her online from Indiana in 2010 and did not meet her until she arrived at the barn. I took a big risk, but she's turned out to be everything I wanted!
She was pretty green when I got her, only being ridden about 5/6 times. Since then I've had a trainer out to work with her a few times and worked with her myself more. Usually, when I ride, it's just hopping on bareback with a halter and lead ropes. Other times I'll throw the saddle on but I've never used a bridle on her. I am waiting on my bitless bridle attachment to arrive so I can start working with her in that, but with just a big, floppy halter she is WONDERFUL.
Now, with me being 5'1 and her being 17.3 hh, it's a huge hassle to get on her. I've used a fence, above ground pool ladder, buckets stacked on buckets, truck bed, and people hoisting me up. Even with a stirrup extender I can't get on by myself.
I was contemplating teaching her to bow for mounting. I mainly want to use her for trail riding and am afraid if I had to dismount for some reason while riding I wouldn't be able to get back on.
Has anyone tried this with a draft horse? She's very food motivated and will already follow the treat to between her legs.
Do you think it will hurt her back/joints to mount while she's bowing? I'm only about 115 lbs compared to her 1900, so I figure it wouldn't but I wanted to get some better insight.
Any tips of advice on this would be GREATLY appreciated.