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Video:How to Mount and Dismount a Horse

with Katherine Calkins

Our expert explains how to mount and dismount a horse properly. There are certain techniques to use to mount and dismount a horse, so this video will help to walk you through the steps.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Mount and Dismount a Horse

This is Katherine Calkins, instructor and owner of wicked good horsemanship at The J-Six Equestrian Center in Benson, Arizona, here for About.com. Today Katey is going to help demonstrate how to properly mount and dismount a horse.

Things to Remember to Mount and Dismount a Horse

There are a couple of things you want to remember about mounting. If this is your first time mounting, have an experienced horse person hold the horse, so that you don't need to worry about the horse walking off while your trying to get on it for the first time. The most important thing to remember when you're mounting is you want to make sure to check your girth before you get on to make sure it hasn't loosened while you've walked into the arena. So, now that we know Toughy's girth is strong what we're going to do is run down the stirrup so that Katey has a platform to get on. We'll go to the other side and run down the opposite stirrup.

Tips to Mount and Dismount a Horse

Now since Katey has already mounted several times in her life we're going to have her hold the horses reins herself. When you're holding the reins you want to make sure your in contact with the horse's mouth and you want the near rein, that's the left rein, to be shorter. That way if the horse goes to leave, all he's going to do is walk a small circle around you. If the horse will start walking, just walk with him until he settles down. Wait for him to quiet and then mount up.

When Katey is ready she is going to put her left foot in the stirrup. She can either face forwards or backwards. If she faces backwards she'll put her foot in the stirrup and hop around till she faces forwards. She wants to keep the toe of her left boot against the girth so she doesn't irritate the horse's elbow as she mounts up. She has her right hand on the back of her saddle. She'll do a couple of light springs on her right foot and then jump up. She wants to land softly to make sure that she doesn't hurt the horse's back.

Suggestions for Mounting a Horse

One important thing about mounting. Many horses know that we're going to walk off. We want to make sure the horse stands and wait for us to cue him to walk. Once you are mounted you want to make sure that you have one foot in each stirrup and you have a good hold of the reins. If your horse should decide to start walking there are a couple of things you can do.You can either do lateral flexions, where you take one rein and bring it back to your hip. So we'll do it with the left rein. Bring the left rein back to your hip and toughy will bring his head off to the side.

The other thing you can do is have him back up if he's walking forward and just remind him that you need him to stand here until you ask him to walk.
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