This is the term used when getting off the horse.
To dismount correctly and safely will require the rider to know the correct way to dismount, where to dismount and when to dismount.
Where To Dismount
A safe place that is away from traffic and any danger that may spook the horse.
Somewhere that has a flat piece of ground, and will therefore give sure footing to both horse and for the rider when they reach the ground.
Correct Dismounting Procedure
- First of all the rider finds a safe place to halt the horse, an assistant can be called at this time to hold the horse still, if the horse is prone to walking off during the dismount or if the rider is uncertain of the dismount.
- The rider then places both reins into their left hand, this is so that once dismounted they will have the reins in the left hand which will be closest to the horses head, and place their right hand on the pommel of the saddle.
- Both of the riders feet are lifted out of the stirrups so that the legs hang down the side of the horse, by doing this it prevents the rider from having their foot left caught in the stirrup iron which can lead to the rider falling backwards if the horse should move off suddenly.
- The rider then, leans slightly forwards and swings their right leg up and over the horses hindquarters giving the hindquarters plenty of clearance. On landing the rider must bend their knees so as to soften the impact of landing. The rider should aim to end up facing the horse with their feet together on the ground. Keep hold of the reins at all times.
- Once dismounted you can run up your stirrups, so that they will not bash against the horses side, or get caught up on gate posts or any other object. Then loosen off the horses girth by one hole on each strap, to allow the horse to relax.
- Take the reins over the horses head and hold with one hand down from the bit and one hand at the buckle end. If your horse is wearing a martingale then you just hold both reins from underneath the jaw area.
- Lead the horse back to the stable area or tie up ring from the left hand side of the horse, if you need to turn them around for any reason then you always turn the horse away from you and not in towards you, as this puts you in a safer position and less likely to get trodden on.
- Once back at the yard, tie the horse up to a secure and safe place and then un tack them as necessary.
When To Dismount
Only get off the horse when it is safe to do so. Always check your surroundings prior to dismounting. If you find yourself unable to dismount from the left hand side then you simply place your reins into the right hand, put your left hand on the pommel of the saddle, remove both feet from out of the stirrups and dismount to the right of the horse.
Unsafe Ways To Dismount
By bringing the right leg over in front of the saddle and sliding off down the side. This is not recommended because when bringing your leg over the front should your horse move off or lift up their head you will become unbalanced and also once on the ground you will have your back to the horse and will not have hold of your horse leaving them free to move off as they wish.
Leaping up out of your stirrups and jumping off the horse will also leave you with no control of the horse and can also be unsettling for the horse, it also increases your chances of landing badly should you misjudge it.