Horseback Riding
Mounting The Horse

From: Equestrian and Horse | Horseback Riding

See also: Position | Lunging | Flatwork | Jumping

Horse Picture

Mounting is the term used when getting up onto the horse.

Before mounting always check that your bridle is properly fitted and that all the buckles are done up and the leather straps are secured in place through the keepers, then check that the saddle and numnah are in the correct position and the girth has been done up tight enough to be able to mount, with the girth held in place on the first and third girth straps.

Then make sure that the rider is wearing a correctly fitting hat, footwear and gloves. There are three ways to mount, you can use a mounting block, have a leg up or mount from the ground.

Mounting Block
Place the reins over the horses head so that they are ready for use and run down both stirrups. Lead the horse to the mounting block so that the near-side is closest to the block, then take up the reins in your left hand and position your right hand on the pommel. Place your left foot into the stirrup iron, with the stirrup on the ball of your foot. Gently lift your right leg over the horse so that it stays well clear of the horses quarters and place your right foot into the stirrup on the opposite side. Then sit gently into the saddle and gather up both reins. Before moving off double check the girth and adjust the stirrups as necessary.

Leg Up
Place the reins over the horses head and run down both stirrups, then standing on the left hand side with your assistant right behind you gather up your reins in the left hand and position your right hand on the seat of the saddle.Bend your left leg back at the knee keeping the thigh straight in line with your right leg. Ask your assistant to hold your left knee with there left hand and the front of your left shin with their right hand, by doing this it will give your assistant a firm hold from which to lift you up. The rider then bounces three times and on the third bounce the rider springs as high as they can and the assistant lifts the riders leg up to about saddle flap height. The rider then swings the right leg over the horses quarters placing their foot into the right hand stirrup and landing gently in the saddle. Once onboard the rider should check the girth and adjust the stirrup leathers as necessary before moving off.

Mounting From The Ground
Place the reins over the horses head ready for use, run down the stirrups and check the girth. Place both reins into your left hand standing on the nearside of the horse, bring your left leg up and place your foot into the stirrup iron and take hold of the saddle in your right hand. Bounce three times on your right leg and on the third bounce spring as high as you can lifting your right leg up and clear over the hindquarters, place your right foot into the stirrup iron and gently sit into the saddle. Check your girth and adjust your stirrup leathers before moving off.

Tightening Your Girth Once Mounted
Once mounted, to tighten your girth put your reins into the right hand then lift up your left leg plus stirrup iron and leather so that it lies in front of the saddle, then lift up the saddle flap and holding it with your right hand and then pull up the buckle guard. Pull the girth straps one at a time in an upward movement to release the buckle of the girth from the hole in the girth strap, continue to lift upwards to the next appropriate hole then using your index finger position the buckle securely in place then proceed with the second buckle on the second girth strap. Once both buckles have been repositioned onto the same number of hole on both girth straps then bring the buckle guard down followed by the saddle flap and then your left leg,stirrup and iron.

Adjusting Your Stirrups Once Mounted
Once mounted to adjust the stirrup leather put both reins into the opposite hand to the leather you are about to adjust then take the end of the stirrup leather out of the keeper on the saddle flap and keeping your foot in the stirrup iron but slightly lifting your weight out of it, lift the end of the stirrup leather in an upwards movement to pull the buckle away from the bar of the saddle under the skirt. From here release the buckle from the hole it is in and either pull the buckle up to the next hole to shorten the stirrup or push down with your foot in the stirrup iron to lower the hole it is in, always ensure that the buckle is secured through a hole in the leathers, then take hold of the stirrup leather which lies closest to the saddle flap and pull downwards to raise the buckle back up to the bar and neatly away under the skirt and then rethread the end of the leather through the keeper on the saddle flap.