April 14, 2014

Ways of Mounting

I always feel very ungraceful when mounting.  As a child I was taught to stand at the shoulder facing back place your foot in the stirrup and then hop and swing around and up.  Very much like the Julie Goodnight video below.  

Recently I was taught this other method where you stand behind the stirrup facing the horses head and then swing up from there.  That can work well but with my short arms I find it hard to reach for the mane and not grab the saddle so much.

They both have their benefits.  Since Dani has done the whole moving off when I mount I haven't had much ability to really concentrate on the way I mount.  This is my goal.
First I will send Dani away at a brisk pace in a  circle the second she moves off while I try mounting.  I'll do this by keeping a lead line on her halter bridle, looping it on the horn to get it out of the way and using it to send her in that fast circle at the right time.  Julie also shows that technique and it worked quickly the one time I tried it.  I just need to get consistent and always reprimand her when she is a bad girl to mount.  She's not terrible, it started with the mounting block at Whispering Winds.  

Then I will practice each style of mounting and figure out what works best for me.  Part of it is I;m out of practice since I don't ride regularly anymore.  The spring is here and so are the light in the later evenings so I've been able to do a little more.

Sometimes it's over whelming with what I want to work with Dani on.  Mounting, being softer and more on the bit when asked and trailer loading.  I just have to take it bit by bit.  I have fun riding even if it's not perfect form or a perfect ride.  Really she's a great mount and listens well and I enjoy it.  The mounting and trailer need to take priority.  Her stop is good, the control at the trot is great so far.  I'll be getting my trailer set up so I can practice loading during the week.  

But I digress.  Mounting.  How do you mount?  Facing the front?  Facing the back?  Always from a step?


Cindy D. said...

I mount facing back, and hop hop and hoist. Some days it is all I can do to get up there, but I refuse to resort to a block. I'm vain like that.

When my one horse tries to move off, I push him sideways- sidepass from the ground, about 20 feet in each direction. Suddenly he decides that standing still is the greatest thing ever!

lytha said...

whoa what's up with the hopping? am i so out of it i've never seen that before? is it western?

i was annoyed when julie did not correct her horse for moving off, all she would have had to do is request the horse to step back where he started, but she let him cheat and creep forward even though he was in balance.

the second dude was cool, stressing the safety of getting on in a way you can "abort" at anytime. that's how i do it, and i just barely have a toe in the stirrup in case something goes wrong. however he could take it one step further with the safety aspect with regard to dismounting. that last lady almost got it but didn't.

safest way possible to dismount, IMO, is to take both feet out and just jump off. sometimes people notice and ask "did you do that on purpose?" i learned that from an instructional video by a show jumper dude.

here is a video, in slow motion, of me getting off a young horse (who i so wanted to buy, but did not pass a vet check).


watch as he tries to rub on me, i don't let him, and then he rubs on his owner: ) man i liked that horse! (except for his posty hind legs.)

even though my horse is tiny, i try to always use a mounting block to be kind to her back. i also regularly mount from the right side. (i'm not fit enough to do that from the ground though.)

i've developed a ritual for mounting that seems to help. i line her up and make sure she's square. i climb up on the hill/step and run my hand over her rump. the stroking her rump is just one more signal that i'm going to mount. then i get on and about half the time, give her a treat. then we stand there. i try to count to 20 but that's kind of excessive.

if she moves away (usually by swinging her hips away from me), i don't make her move (movement is a reward to her, not a dissuasion). i pull the outside rein back and toward me, which tips her nose to the outside and causes her to swing her hips back where they were. then we start over. she doesn't usually go forward when i'm trying to mount.

in the arena it's easiest but on the trail she's getting better too, as long as i do my little ritual.