I am a first time horse owner, and have gotten the basics down pretty well, but am having a bit of trouble dismounting. Don't know exactly why, but I get really nervous, and have a real difficult time dropping to the ground! ANY suggestions?
Practice...lol. That's about all. Everybody is nervous at first. Remember to remove your feet from the stirrups before you drop and just go for it. My poor little brother is only 9 and has to do this from a 16.2 HH gelding. It's pretty funny to watch.
The more you practice the better you will get at landing more lightly. Don't be too embarrased if at some point in the beggining your ankle gives out either. I've seen it happen to a few people, and when I was little it happened to me once or twice.
when I was little it happened to me once or twice.
LOL...Unfortunately, I'm 48, so the embarrassment factor goes up a few notches! I think I have a fear of falling (tho by now I should be over THAT, having had LOTS of practice! LOL) or slipping and ending up under the horse. I did got thrown...er, I came off "with extreme prejudice"..., once and somehow ended up under a bucking horse, who instantly leapt to the side so he wouldn't land on me, so I know that nothing would happen if I DID slide under him...guess you are all right, just practice practice practice and let go of the fear...and don't expect to look as carefree and easy as everyone else!
NEVER HIT THE GROUND WITH ONE FOOT STILL IN THE STIRRUP! I know a lot of people who have gotten hurt very bad because of this (horse bolts, rider gets drug). For english I always kick out both stirrups and just swing off without stirrups. When I first started to do this I would hold mane when I did. For western I kick my right foot out, swing my right leg over my horses butt, then hold myself up, kick out my left foot and then hop down. Sorry if that didnt make sense.
I have to dismount from a 17.1 BEAST of a horse (he has a lot of leg, haha). I have a long fall to say the very least, and when I get off and my feet are cold, it can be a but painful.
Oh yeah, and if you are bareback... Grab mane and just kick your legs up as high as you can to when swinging over your horses butt.
When you land, it helps a little if you bend your knees to absorb some of the shock.
You could also try mounting and dismounting a bunch of times, so that way you can get over it. I do this as I have mounting issues, and it helps a lot!
Is there any reason that you dont trust your horse when you dismount? Have you had another problem dismounting on another horse?
What I do is just catapault myself off the saddle! I have only fallen by doing this 2 times in the 7-ish years I have been riding. I ALWAYS take both my feet out of the stirrups and throw my leg over (Try not to kick the horse in the bootay) and jump down... I trained PintoBean with that too, so now he doesn't care if you pull on the saddle, jump on/off the saddle.
I teach this method to shorter, nervous and new riders:
Check to ensure your sweatshirt, jacket, etc are free of the horn. Swing your leg over (you can get off on either side and the world will not end). Stay in your stirrup until both feet are on the same side of the horse - lean slightly towards your saddle and kick your stirrup foot free, drop to the ground.
One hand is on the reins, the other can be on the cantle or the pommel - depending on the persons sense of balance.
Pretty much what I've been doing, MLS...Thanks, everyone! Yes, I did have a few incidents over the past few years! I decided to start riding...hadn't done so since I was a kid, but I remembered the feeling...indescribable! So, I started taking lessons from an 'expert', and ended up bruised, battered, and with a broken right arm! She had put me on an Appy mare who was in a field with two geldings. It was before breakfast, and tho I felt uneasy at riding before she had eaten, I was assured that she "was a ranch horse, and she'd better get used to it". I rode her up to the arena, closed the gate behind us, and proceeded to do a few warm-up exercises while waiting for the instructor. We were fighting each other, and the moment she heard the feed cart, the mare took off, riding straight thru the pipe corral gate! She was about 14 hands, so not tall, but I wasn't about to get off as she tore up a hill full speed ahead. Suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks, which sent me flying headlong into the side of the hill! (yes, I had worn my helmet, and NEVER get on a horse without it!) I rolled down down down, ending in a field of tar weed which is just as the name describes. I couldn't breathe, and lay there for a long while. My helmet was shattered, I hurt all over, and something was wrong with my arm. The instructor finally showed up, after finding the mare standing fully tacked outside her pasture. But, after getting my arm casted, cuts and bruises a plenty, I was greeted by other horsewomen with a rousing "well, NOW you are a horsewoman!"
I did get bucked off Sunny twice, but know he wouldn't intentionally hurt me. It isn't distrust of my horse, but distrust in my own abilities.
I think it's best to learn to kick BOTH feet free of the stirrups before you swing your leg over. I've seen rider's dragged because they've swung their leg, accidentally kicked the horse in the rump and the horse has taken off, with their other foot still in the stirrups. It doesn't end well.
Just a suggestion. I'm very safety conscious.
everyone falls dismounting sometimes. heck, i've even fallen mounting!! i was trying to get up on a 17.1hh horse bareback and ended up rolling right over the other side. it was hilarious! everyone was laughing and the horse was looking at me like i had two heads. mistakes happen, don't be embarrassed about it :]
ROTF! Sun's big but not THAT big! I generally ride solo, so am not too worried about what others think. I did have an episode early on (again, I am a newbie in the whole horse world thing, and basically am learning as I go). It was a gorgeous spring day, everything was just starting to bloom, we had a cold long winter, and Sunny had been wet and cold for way too long. Also, he had been on alfalfa primarily, since he decided he didn't like the grass and had become deft at pulling that part out of his feed. So, basically, I had a nitro-rocket on my hands. I wanted to go riding, so grabbed the tack, rushed through my routine of brushing him, picked the hooves, all the while thinking how fun fun fun it was going to be to finally ride him, forgetting that horses pick up every single thought, so my excitement was shooting straight into his brain, so he was getting amped too. I rushed, ignoring the little nagging voice in my head screaming "slow down, don't rush that part, wait..." and in a record-breaking time, had Sun all tacked up and ready to rock! He was all but jumping up and down at this point, since doing all the tacking up had me even more happy and excited. He was pacing, and I was all set to mount up. I lead him to the block mount, and tried and tried to get him to stay put for a moment to swing up in the saddle! Finally, I swung into the saddle, had just got my feet in the stirrups, when all hell broke loose!
In my haste (and amateur status playing a huge part in this!) I had neglected to remove the bridle, and he was still tied down. He was past ever being calm at this point...the fuse was lit, and he was going to go NOW. He realized he was still tied too late, and freaked when he tried to turn and couldn't. Well, destiny and fate being funny and fickle, here comes the rodeo! Sun bucked several times, HARD, and I flew like a rag doll just as one of our neighbors came ambling down the gravel road with his giant dog. I flew, landed at the guy's feet, breath knoocked out of me, flat on my back. He just stared at me, like I had just come down in a spaceship, the dog went ballistic, Sun was still bucking, but had the sense to kick out opposite us, my hubby flew out of the house to see what all the commotion was about, AND to top it all off (Sun had the lead rope wrapped around his butt at this point) a huge propane truck had just pulled in and was on it's way up the road to our driveway! I couldn't move, the neighbor was paralyzed at the sight of Sunny, full take-off mode, kicking, bucking and yelling, my hubby didn't know what to do first! Help me up, stop the truck, or try and get to Sun without getting killed? I croaked out "Help Sun!", scrambled up by grabbing the neighbor's leg and pulling, stumbled/limped out to the road (wide berth of Sun's rear) waving my arms and screaming "STOP!" to the driver, who had, luckily, seen me flying, and had enough (WAY more than me, evidently!) sense to stop the truck immediatly. Hubby had Sun calmed down right away (basically walked up, grabbed the bridle, and asked, "hey, guy, what's all the hubbub?" Sun stopped like a bucket of ice water had been dumped on him, and calmly stood while Hubby untangled him. The neighbor recovered enough to hightail it back home, dragging his dog behind. Sun was lead back to his 'house' and de tacked, and THEN the propane guy drove in. I was left with a gigantic bruise on my butt and all along the outside of my right leg, so sitting was a unique sensation for a week at least! After telling my story to a few friends with horses, everyone had the same comment: "Didn't lunge him first, huh?" LOL I have learned from that hard lesson lots of rules. Lunge first if horse has been cooped up for more than a few days, never take short cuts, and, oh yeah...I can fly!
Everyone does it differntly. i like to drop my stirus then swing over. It only takes like half a second. lol. But if you get nervous you could halt right next to the mounting block then step down onto the mounting block.