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How To Mount A Horse

How to mount a horse

If you are a beginning rider or have always wanted to learn how to ride, here is the place to start. I will teach you how to mount a horse and dismount a horse, and how to do it safely.

  1. When mounting a horse, start by standing parallel to the saddle facing the horse’s head. It is important that you mount facing your horse’s head instead of his tail as you then cannot see his facial expressions to read his body language. I also find that facing the horse’s head when you mount is safer than mounting facing the horse’s hindquarters as you do not have to rotate in your stirrup when you are already facing the correct direction.
  2. Grasp the rein that is on the same side as you are with your left hand and then place that same hand on your horse’s withers.
  3. Place your left foot in the stirrup iron but not all the way in, only up to the ball of your foot.
  4. Next, put your right hand on the pommel of your saddle. Step up onto your horse by putting your weight into your stirrup and using your hands to balance yourself. Be sure to keep your foot in the stirrup facing the girth so you don’t inadvertently poke your horse in the side.
  5. Swing your right leg over your horse’s back, being careful not to kick the horse as you do this. Gently sit down in the saddle. Make sure to sit softly when you are getting on so you don’t hurt the horse’s back and make mounting uncomfortable for him.
  6. Once you are in the saddle, place you right foot in your stirrup and pick up both reins, one in each hand.
  7. Let your horse stand for a minute before you ask him to move. This way the horse won’t anticipate walking off and start walking away before you even get on.

The steps described above can be used for both mounting a horse from the ground as well as from a mounting block.

Dismounting a Horse

  1. To dismount a horse, put both reins in your left hand which you will then place on the withers.
  2. Place your right hand on the pommel of your saddle.
  3. Take both feet out of the stirrups.
  4. Lean slightly forward and swing your right leg over your horse’s back, again making sure not to accidentally kick the horse.
  5. Balance your weight with your hands as you swing over.
  6. Drop down softly, landing on your toes with your knees bent.

If you have a tall horse and you want to dismount onto a mounting block do the same steps as above but instead of kicking both feet out of the stirrups take only your right foot out. Swing your right leg over the horse’s back, and step down softly onto the mounting block with your right leg, then take your left leg out of the stirrup, stepping down from the horse completely.