How to mount and dismount a horse: a beginner’s guide
Horses are magnificent, strong creatures that can be quite exciting and entertaining for riders. However, learning riding a horse also calls for certain abilities and safety measures, particularly when mounting and dismounting. In this post, I’ll walk you through the process of mounting and dismounting a horse.
It could take a few attempts before you feel comfy and at ease climbing on a horse when it’s time to try mounting it. Continue reading for a more detailed explanation of mounting and dismounting a horse.
First of all, you should always check the tightness of your girth or cinch before mounting your horse. Your girth should be so snug that only three fingers can fit between your horse and the girth. Your saddle may slide to the side when you’re attempting to mount or while you’re riding if your girth is left slack. A serious safety risk exists here.
Second, if using an English saddle, let the horse’s stirrups drop on both sides. The stirrups will be ready to use and in the proper position after doing this. If not, it could be difficult to ride a horse only to discover that the stirrup wasn’t rolled down on the other side.
Mounting a Horse
The process of mounting a horse involves climbing up onto its back from the ground or a platform. Depending on the rider’s preferences, the horse’s temperament, and the equipment available, there are several mounting techniques. However, these are essential steps:
1. Prepare the horse and yourself. Make sure the horse is relaxed and at ease before mounting, and check that the saddle and bridle are fitted and fastened correctly. Additionally, you should dress appropriately by donning boots, gloves, a helmet, and riding pants. To prevent becoming caught in the reins or mane, pull your long hair back or wear a hairnet. The next step is aligning your horse appropriately with the mounting block if you’re using one to mount your horse. When they get close to the mounting block, some horses have mastered evasive moves, making it challenging to mount them!
2. Approach the horse from the left side. The majority of riders mount and dismount on the left side of the horse, which is typically referred to as the “near side”. This is due to the fact that most horses have been educated to accept riders from this side and that most riders are right-handed and prefer to use their right hand to control the reins and stirrup. Nevertheless, depending on their preference or circumstance, some riders might prefer to mount from the right side, or the “off side”. In any scenario, never approach a horse from behind as this might cause it to be startled or kick. Instead, always approach from the front or side.
3. Place your left hand on the pommel of the saddle. The pommel is the raised part of the saddle near the horse’s withers, where the mane starts. You can maintain your balance and manage the horse’s motion by placing your left hand on the pommel. Ensure that the reins are not twisted or tangled by holding them lightly in your left hand.
4. Place your left foot in the stirrup. The metal or leather loop that hangs from the saddle on each side of the horse is known as a stirrup. While riding, it supports your legs and feet. To place your left foot in the stirrup, you should first lift your leg over the horse’s shoulder, then slide your foot into the stirrup from front to back. You should adjust the stirrup length so that it reaches your ankle bone when your leg is straight.
5. Swing your right leg over the horse’s back. You should do this by pushing yourself up with your left leg and grabbing the saddle’s cantle with your right hand. The elevated area of the saddle close to the horse’s tail is called the cantle. Avoid kicking or striking the horse with your foot or knee as you swing your right leg over. Additionally, you should refrain from pulling on the mane or the reins as this could harm or confuse the horse.
6. Sit down gently in the saddle. Once you have swung your right leg over, you should lower yourself slowly and gently into the saddle, making sure that you are centered and balanced. You should also place your right foot in the right stirrup, adjusting it if necessary. You should sit upright and relaxed, with your legs slightly bent at the knees and your heels down. You should also hold the reins evenly in both hands, with a slight contact with the horse’s mouth.
Dismounting a Horse
The act of getting off a horse’s back and onto the ground or a platform is known as dismounting. Depending on the rider’s preferences, the horse’s temperament, and the equipment at hand, there are various ways to get off a horse. However, these are the fundamental actions:
1. Get yourself and the horse ready. Make sure the horse is relaxed and at ease, and that the saddle and bridle are fitted and fastened before dismounting. Additionally, make sure you are in a safe and level area before dismounting. Once again, you should dress appropriately for the dismounting process by donning boots, gloves, a helmet, and riding pants. To prevent getting tangled in the reins or mane, tie your long hair back or wear a hairnet.
2. Remove your feet from the stirrups. The metal or leather loops that hang from the saddle on either side of the horse are known as stirrups. While riding, you can use them to support your feet and legs. Lifting your legs over the horse’s back and sliding your feet out of the stirrups from back to front are the proper ways to get out of the stirrups. The horse could be startled or injured if you drop the stirrups or kick them.
3. Place your right hand on the pommel of the saddle. The raised portion of the saddle called the pommel is located close to the horse’s withers, where the mane begins. You can maintain your balance and manage the horse’s motion by placing your right hand on the pommel. Ensure that the reins are not twisted or tangled by holding them loosely in your right hand.
4. Swing your right leg over the horse’s back. You should do this by pushing yourself up with your left leg and grabbing the saddle’s cantle with your left hand. The raised area of the saddle close to the horse’s tail is called the cantle. Avoid kicking or striking the horse with your foot or knee as you swing your right leg over. Additionally, you should refrain from pulling on the mane or the reins as this could harm or confuse the horse.
5. Slide down gently to the ground. After swinging your right leg over, slowly and gently lower yourself to the ground, making sure to land on your feet rather than your hands or knees. In order to stop the horse from backing away or stepping on you, you should also maintain control of the reins and stay close to the animal’s shoulder.
6. Praise and reward the horse. After dismounting, you should always praise and reward the horse for its good behavior and cooperation. You can do this by giving it a pat, a scratch, a treat, or a kind word. You should also check the horse for any injuries or discomforts, and remove any dirt or sweat from its coat, mane, and tail.
Any rider who wants to enjoy riding safely and comfortably must be able to mount and dismount a horse properly and safely. You can mount and dismount a horse with ease and confidence by going through these easy steps. However, you should never forget to respect and take good care of your horse, as it is more than just an animal; it is also a friend.