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Afire At Night
Jan. 17, 2011, 07:33 PM
Hi! I was wondering if anyone had any tips/guides/suggestions on learning how to mount without stirrups? I've heard it's one of the first things the Riding Academy in Vienna teaches their students, and thought it sounded interesting, and like a useful skill. I've googled it and searched the forums but didn't come up with much. Thanks!

Wild Rose
Jan. 17, 2011, 07:38 PM
I start with a steep hill...

CDE Driver
Jan. 17, 2011, 07:45 PM
Mini trampoline?

Equibrit
Jan. 17, 2011, 07:46 PM
Dig a large hole ?

or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRPQIIZkyY8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSfDFrv78Bo

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Jan. 17, 2011, 07:59 PM
Think about the motion and strength you need to leap frog over a medium height post. Also the motion of getting out of a swimming pool using the side of the pool. In rock climbing, the move is called "mantling" as in pressing down on a ledge or mantle to get up on it.
Climbers might be able to suggest a variety of weight training exercises to build the necessary strength. Finding a set of fenceposts of ascending height, and dedicating yourself to practicing the first part of a leap frog, then holding yourself on straight arm above the post a moment before lowering yourself, is the way I know to develop the skill.

That, or be born an Irish lad. :)

mortebella
Jan. 17, 2011, 08:10 PM
I take it at the SRS they don't allow you to belly flop and wallow your way across the horse's back? This has been *my* preferred method since a tadpole. Sigh. One more reason they're not likely to come knocking anytime soon, I guess. Reality still bites.

paintlady
Jan. 17, 2011, 08:24 PM
A 3-step mounting block is all I need.

classicsporthorses
Jan. 17, 2011, 08:29 PM
When I had a set of shoulders, I could mount my 18.3 hand Clydesdale bareback and I was on a rubbermaid 2-step kitchen step stool. I am 5'5". No belly flopping either, I clean jump, grab some mane and I could swing my leg over the beast.

So I guess I could have done it from the actual ground on a normal sized horse.

Fast forward a few years and I used to pull the clydesdale either up along the wooden pool deck I'd mount him from there OR I would line him up to the tailgate of our truck.

Suffice it to say I don't think I could mount a 12 hand pony right now with assistance from my stirrups!

kcmel
Jan. 17, 2011, 09:06 PM
I take it at the SRS they don't allow you to belly flop and wallow your way across the horse's back? This has been *my* preferred method since a tadpole. Sigh. One more reason they're not likely to come knocking anytime soon, I guess. Reality still bites.

:lol::lol:. That is how I use to do it as well. So graceful!

LookmaNohands
Jan. 17, 2011, 09:15 PM
A vaulting instructor could help you here. There are a couple of ways: Face the rear, grab a hunk of mane in your left hand, swing your right leg back behind you then swing it up over the horse's back. Kind of hard to describe. I know someone who would practice doing this on the back of a pick-up truck. The other way is to hold the pommel and cantle and jump up, straighten your arms then swing your leg over. You can practice this from a low mounting block. You really have to jump up for this one. The first one you use the momentum of your leg to swing up.

They take practice!!

sophie
Jan. 18, 2011, 09:55 AM
When I was younger I was really good at the vaulting method described above (face the rear, grab a handful of mane, swing your right leg over) on horses up to 16.3 or so (I'm 5'3) but never could do it when the horse was wearing a saddle. I had friends who could jump on with a saddle on and I was in awe. They'd just grab pommel and cantle, jump up, and as they were at the apex of their jump they'd let go of the hand holding the cantle and they'd swing their leg over in one fluid motion.

Now that I'm older, I never use my stirrups for mounting, but I usually find suitable (i.e, high enough) mounting objects: the back of a truck, the edge of a deck, a jump, a tree trunk...makes it easier on me AND on my horse's back.

CobJockey
Jan. 18, 2011, 07:54 PM
5'0 here and totally fascinated by the existence of people who can/want to mount without stirrups! I can't even reach the stirrups from the ground (whoever decided that short people should have short stirrups? Really?) so it sounds like I should make this my new hobby. Hmm...

birdsong
Jan. 18, 2011, 08:07 PM
Was recently shown this by an instructor. Its not the swinging up style but actually putting your foot in the stirrup, left hand holding mane...bounce, bounce, bounce...( I think right hand on back of saddle) Place more weight on the left hand than in the stirrup.

Several people did it with his suggestions...yes, one on a Clyde even. I was just 4 weeks post broken ankle so was good to even be in the saddle!

They did it with the girth completely loose! The object being to notice how we are pulling on the horse and likely causing saddle slippage for those who have that problem.

Maybe I can get him to describe it better. Will let you know.
OK spoke with instructor friend who said the key was to put your weight immediately OVER the saddle instead of the SIDE.

Of course this is using a stirrup which I realize is not what the OP asked for. At least this way there is minimal "stirrup hang".

whitewolfe001
Jan. 18, 2011, 08:45 PM
When I was younger I thought mounting blocks were for pussies and old ladies.

The lesson barn where I learned to ride as a kid had no mounting block. All the school horses were full sized tall horses - no ponies, and I was teeny. I'd have to let the stirrup down quite a bit, and just climb with no assistance. The instructors frowned on giving anyone a leg-up. I guess they wanted you to know how to get on a horse if you happened to be somewhere there wasn't help, like on a trail? Or maybe they were just too cheap to buy or make a proper block?

When I was a little taller, the bellyflop method worked fine for mounting bareback.

Of course, I learned later that climbing aboard via stirrup from the ground is not the best thing for the horse's back, unless perhaps you're a tiny young sprite.

For a while I used to ride for weeks at a time with no stirrups at all, and had to figure out how to get on my tall horse without stirrups. I used the mounting block but I still had to jump. I'd put both my hands on the saddle just behind the pommel, and jump while swinging my leg over. To prevent crashing down, for a split second I'd be kind of supporting myself on my hands while my legs were splayed over the horse, i'm not describing this too well but gymnasts sorta do a move like that on the pommel horse. I practiced strengthening my arms for that on the arm of my couch. :)

I never mastered the one-leg swing thing from the ground. If I had to mount without stirrups from the ground, I'd have to go with the bellyflop method.

Coyoteco
Jan. 18, 2011, 09:03 PM
Was recently shown this by an instructor. Its not the swinging up style but actually putting your foot in the stirrup, left hand holding mane...bounce, bounce, bounce...( I think right hand on back of saddle) Place more weight on the left hand than in the stirrup.

Several people did it with his suggestions...yes, one on a Clyde even. I was just 4 weeks post broken ankle so was good to even be in the saddle!

They did it with the girth completely loose! The object being to notice how we are pulling on the horse and likely causing saddle slippage for those who have that problem.

Maybe I can get him to describe it better. Will let you know.

I do the bounce method and don't put much weight in the stirrup. The key is getting very close to the horse.

Doctracy
Jan. 18, 2011, 10:36 PM
When I was a kid, I would mount bareback by letting my horse graze, jump on his neck, cluck and slide down the neck.
Not thinking this is the recommended method by the SRS?

netg
Jan. 18, 2011, 11:21 PM
When I was a kid, I would mount bareback by letting my horse graze, jump on his neck, cluck and slide down the neck.
Not thinking this is the recommended method by the SRS?

The girl we got my first horse from told us she used to do that! Too funny.


I have never owned a rideable horse whose back wasn't over my head. The summer I rode without stirrups (broken foot, so I just removed them from the saddle to get them out of the way) I used a gate to get on. For that, it's helpful to have a horse who cooperates!

SmartAlex
Jan. 19, 2011, 09:32 AM
I know a gal who, when growing up, owned a very patient retired eventer. She would put his forehead to her belly, get him to lower his head a bit, grab mane and that old guy would fling her up his neck onto his back. She'd land backwards of course, and shimmy around. The horse seemed perfectly happy to do this for his kid and was never head shy about it.

My grandmother, growing up with the buggy horse, would lead him to a patch of grass, sit on top of his head, and wait for him to raise up so she could slide back down his neck.

In the day, I could get on a 16+ hand horse by either the belly flop, or one leg swing methods. Those days are looooooong gone. Now I have a really tall three step block.

Foxtrot's
Jan. 19, 2011, 11:58 AM
Join Prince Philipp Games :)

dghunter
Jan. 19, 2011, 03:06 PM
A really tall mounting block :lol::lol: I am the least graceful person on the planet.

o0hawaiigirl0o
Jan. 20, 2011, 07:37 PM
5'0 here and totally fascinated by the existence of people who can/want to mount without stirrups! I can't even reach the stirrups from the ground (whoever decided that short people should have short stirrups? Really?) so it sounds like I should make this my new hobby. Hmm...

I'm in the same boat! I'm only about an inch taller than you. Using the vaulting method, I could scramble aboard my 15.1hh mare with a bit of scrambling, but now that the shortest horse I ride is in the 16-16.2hh range, I can't imagine getting enough lift to clear their back with my leg. My horse was rather patient and would left me hook my left foot on her knee to shimmy the rest of the way up if I didn't jump high enough. :winkgrin: If the horse will stand still, I can get aboard a horse that's under 15hh, especially if I can stand it in a dip in the ground.

Brooke
Jan. 22, 2011, 04:12 PM
Used to do it all the time as a kid. Basically the same way as has been said. Face the tail end, grab a hunk of mane, swing the right leg, but - here's the trick - have your left elbow pushed down along the shoulder and dip your head as you swing your leg up, pushing up with your left elbow.

o0hawaiigirl0o
Jan. 22, 2011, 09:09 PM
Before I left home (and my horse), I was was getting her to the point where I could hang upside down under her neck, then shimmy over to face right side up and slide back into position. :P It made for a lot of laughs although I think my horse thought I was crazy.

Medicine Wheel (Ogilvie)
Jan. 22, 2011, 09:44 PM
As a kid: used many of the methods already described - shimmy up the saddle, bareback belly flop, grab mane and swing, head down fling from the neck... when the horse got wise to the head down, I would stand on her reins and when my I landed on her neck my feet let go of her head.... (she never resisted - oh what kid's horses go through). As an older kid riding "double", would grab the arm of the rider and swing up behind. Was fun in the speed games.. ;)

Now I save face by saying the horse's back, the leathers, and the saddle tree all deserve a 3 step mounting block... :)

catmchorse
Jan. 22, 2011, 11:32 PM
I am 5'2 and have hopped bareback up on a big old Draft X with the one-leg kick-up method. My hands could barely reach his mane, so he was probably a good 18 hands. Face back, grab mane, kick right leg up and over. I was actually a little amazed at how easy it was. Somewhere on the internet is a video, I think.

I can't do the belly flop at all...I just wiggle around like a dying fish ;)

Interestingly enough, I have a harder time getting on my 14.3 hand mare bareback. I can do it, but the mane's not far enough up there for me to get any decent leverage with my hands so I have to do it entirely with the legs.

2tempe
Jan. 23, 2011, 09:29 AM
From someone who is now "not young", not tall and has bursitis in one hip: This discussion is quite entertaining, and would make a good "fun show" class. I always used to be impressed in the western movies as to how the cowboys and indians got on their horses when in a hurry. If I had the time and energy, I would train my horse to lie down, then I would slither on in a mature, fairly ladylike fashion and command my steed to rise. BUT IMO there is a reason that god created the following: picnic tables, tree stumps, truck/car bumpers, large rocks, wood fencing, roadside guard rails, and mounting blocks.

enjoytheride
Jan. 23, 2011, 10:43 AM
Stack water bucket on top of 2 step mounting block, pray that water bucket didn't fall off while mounting and spook my horse.

Hampton Bay
Jan. 23, 2011, 02:53 PM
Catch them when they are napping, climb aboard, tap with calves.

TBrescue
Jan. 23, 2011, 07:48 PM
Stack water bucket on top of 2 step mounting block, pray that water bucket didn't fall off while mounting and spook my horse.

Hahaha!!!

Mine is stack bucket on top of 3 step mounting block...and I have tipped it off and ended up under my horse!

He will not stand for the climbing, flopping thing-he wants you up quickly and quietly.....and he is 16.2 and I am 5'4"!

mjmvet
Jan. 23, 2011, 07:55 PM
I couldn't believe how easy it seemed for the jockeys I worked with. They had some kind of momentum going by swinging the right leg forward slightly then springing it up and over. I think it helps to have springs installed in your left leg! Those guys couldn't have been over 4 feet tall and the horses were all 15.2 to 16 hands.

Wordplay1832
Jan. 23, 2011, 08:07 PM
I find it a lot easier to get on bareback than in a saddle without stirrups...for my stirrup-less saddle (I took my stirrups off for part of my new years resolution for the next month or so) I use a tall mounting block. But I can get on my 16.1hh mare in the pasture bareback-though it is helpful if there is a tiny hill I can do it without. I do the jump straight up and slide over rather than the swing up which I can't even do on a really small horse.

hosspuller
Jan. 23, 2011, 08:20 PM
Several techniques of mounting without stirrups.. :cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBSPQSkQgD4

Ajierene
Jan. 23, 2011, 08:42 PM
Start with a horse known to be a bit quirky.

Tack up and leave the stirrups off your dressage saddle.

Go to the cut tree trunk in the field that you usually use to mount.

Grab mane/reins with left hand, front of pommel with right hand.

Jump and swing leg over like normal (same method as when you mount bareback from the tree trunk).

Get right thigh stuck on the cantle of the saddle and hang there for a good few seconds.

Realize how good your quirky mare has gotten as she stands there patiently.

Work said thigh loose, try again and succeed this time.

Ride off with only a slightly sore thigh.