Funny you mention the "what happens on a trail ride" scenario.
I leased a giant horse for Kentucky one year. I am older, not tall, and definitely not flexible.
The Kentucky Horse Park has gorgeous places to ride. Long story short, I had to emergency dismount about three miles from the barn. Not wanting to lead him home, I led the horse into a ditch, dropped the stirrup, stood on the side of the ditch, jumped toward him, then clambered up this mountain of a horse. He was such a good boy to stand still with this panick-stricken middle aged lady climbing up his side.
So, yeah. Mounting blocks.
~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~
The schooling barn I grew up at never mounted from the ground so I have just kinda continued that. I did go ride for a farm that broke and trained horses and they always mounted from the ground. First week they gave me a 17+ h horse and there was just no way in hell.
me too only because i was always told it puts less torque on the horses back as stated in op post...but have mounted on a few from ground,but i was lighter in weight then.lol
i know how you feel about the 17h horse thing. leased a 17.3 appendix back in the day of my 4h yrs and even a mounting block for me wasn't enough,had to mount from the 5 foot arena fence,even then it was a stretch.I'M ONLY 5 FT TALL shrimp of a rider.
I agree with everyone else that thinks that it's bad for their back and for the saddle. I know, I know, "back in the day" we didn't have mounting blocks, always got on from the ground and our horses were sound and healthy! But it's common sense IMO that it can't be great for their back to do it all the time so I always use a block. Not gonna lie, I also suck at getting on from the ground so for MY horse, it's definitely better for his back and my tack to get on from a block. For those of you who seem to just glide up and over, maybe it's another story
I always use a mounting block. I was taught early on that mounting from the ground is very hard on their backs. I weigh...more than I'd like to admit, and even if I were skinny, I still wouldn't want to do anything to cause unnecessary strain on a horse.
I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo
I bought a Norwegian Fjord to be my trail horse, reasoning that I could mount from the ground if I absolutely had to. What I didn't think about the almost non-existent withers and roly-poly nature of the fat layer(s) on her barrel. Looking on the bright side, she's the perfect horse to give kiddos bareback rides.
I'm in western riding country, and it's a pretty clean divide between who uses mounting blocks and who doesn't. The western riders don't, the English riders do.
It is MUCH easier to mount from the ground with a western saddle. The saddles tend to stay put. It has a horn to hold on to. The horses are usually shorter. But I ride English. I must admit I would find it much more difficult to mount from the ground if I didn't grab a hunk of the girls mane when I get on. By the way, my horse is an OTTB and she is just fine about my mounting from the ground. She is such a good girl!
I'm tall, but with that height comes some extra weight! I feel bad lugging my 170lb self onto a horse from the ground, and almost always use a block. I do teach my horses to stand for mounting on the ground and practice it occasionally. You never know when they're going to ask for it in a eq class