Everything Else Tip of the day

Tip of the Day: Mounting


Yes, my mounting block gives people vertigo.

I’ve long had a mania about always mounting from a high mounting block. One of my absolute pet hates is seeing people mounting from the floor.

These super-slow-motion vids illustrate just how much movement there is when a rider mounts from the floor (unless they can vault on without pulling on the saddle at all, in which case, enormous kudos to them!)

Video of the saddle from behind, when rider mounts from the ground

Video with rider mounting from a high mounting block

It is quite surprising how much it moves. I knew someone who studied a lot of horse cadavers in a slaughterhouse (for her physio exams iirc) and said that they ALL had damage to the back muscles on the right side only under the saddle… presumably from mounting.


Mounting block on the arena. More than 1 person has been impressed by this, simple but effective!


The mounting block MUST be high to be of any real use, though. Ideally the rider should be able to just step across, even onto a 17.2+. My steps were made for me by my Grandad when I still had all 18h+ of Moosie the Humungous Hanoverian, which is why they’re very high. I love them because I just just step down/across onto anything. 

I see lots of riders using those small steps that are only about a foot high, which really aren’t a lot better than getting on from the floor.

It’s just a little thing but I think it makes a lot of difference, especially to sensitive horses. 

Saddle fitters have told me that it can seriously damage the twist and tree of saddles too, especially dressage saddles. Absolutely not a risk any of us want to take!

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  • Totally agree – we never get on from the ground. Even out hacking/hunting there is always a gate or a bank to climb onto…

  • YES! YES! YES! Going to share this….
    …and hope some of those people who make me feel like a total wuss/invalid/geriatric for always using a step read it!

  • Martine, in the riding school where I started to learn to ride, the “good riders get on from the floor” mantra was vigorously promoted, I’m sorry to say. How utterly idiotic. Poor horses. As Fiona says, there’s always a way to make it easier on the horse’s back. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • There is nothing wrong with walking a bit to find something suitable to climb on. Everyone should teach their horses to “park”, and step closer if necessary, so they’ll do it anywhere that is required. Using “natural” techniques it’s easy :-).