Everything Else Tip of the day Training

Tip of the Day: Mounting

I know this will probably be hugely frowned upon by traditionalists and sticklers, but, like my other ‘safer mounting’ tip, this one has stood me in very good stead. I learnt it from good horsemen years ago.
Trying to make a keen and perhaps antsy horse stand still when you mount can lead to dramas: if they are really keen to go somewhere and are prevented, by the command to “STAND STILL”, sometimes they go up instead.
So, as I always mount from a high mounting block, I usually let the horse walk on as I swing my leg across and settle myself into the saddle. I usually hold the mane 1/2 way up with my left hand as I mount, this ensures I go with them however much they go forwards! (Although I can’t remember the last time it was more than a sedate walk away from the block anyway.)
They walk on (always on the right rein, as described in the linked article) as I get my stirrups and then check and tighten the girth, and because the girth is tightened as they are moving and stretching the skin with every stride,  I think there’s less likelihood of it snagging the skin as it’s tightened, and perhaps pinching.
This is worth remembering on a lively fit horse. Of course, if there’s a helper there, who isn’t usually present, you have to remember to let them know not the grab the reins ‘helpfully’ as the horse walks on, as it tends to have the opposite effect!

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  • Soooo many times I have had people say – Oh let me help you – Grab the reins with one hand tight under the chin!

  • This is a pet hate of mine when I have helpers with me who don’t know the horse. I am much safer getting on and walking a way than rearing with no pedals!!