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Mounting without a mounting block

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  • Mounting without a mounting block

    Setting: older rider with winter weight gain and green horse go on a short trail ride.

    Yep, I'm not young anymore, have gained weight and did not exercise this winter so I know right off the bat I have set myself up in the wrong way. But I've been riding my greenie a couple of times a week and yesterday went for a short ride with a friend. There were several gates to open and we shared the task. At one gate there wasn't a "natural" source of mounting block (like a dip in the trail or a tree stump) so after closing the gate I attempted to mount like I had when young and agile. It so didn't work.

    What or how do you get back into the saddle?
    Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

  • #2
    I don't/I can't. I would have refused to take my turn 'getting off to open gates' and that's how I would've handled that.

    You made me laugh though - thanks

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by TBMaggie View Post
      I don't/I can't. I would have refused to take my turn 'getting off to open gates' and that's how I would've handled that.

      You made me laugh though - thanks
      You are making me laugh so next time I'll tell my trail partner she gets to open all the gates in the big field. Isn't she the lucky one?
      Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

      Comment


      • #4
        After I lost weight, that's what happened to me. Once I had the ability to get on and off from the ground I got to be the designated open the gates, pick up fallen stuff, etc etc person. LOL

        Comment


        • #5
          I definitely can never be the designated gate opener/retriever of dropped items. I am 4'11" and my horses are all 16.3h+. Getting back on without a mounting block is simply NOT going to happen. Maybe I should try to train my horses to kneel down like a camel or an elephant...
          Tricia Veley-First Flight Farm
          Boerne, Texas
          830-537-4150 phone/830-537-4154 fax
          www.firstflightfarm.com
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          FFF Channel on YouTube: See videos

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          • #6
            Well, with my horse...I can't. I can't get my left foot high enough and still get any bounce off the right (because I'm standing on my tiptoes on that foot to reach!) And I cannot jump high enough without the stirrup to scramble on. So...someone else would be getting up and down, or I'd need to borrow a shorter horse! (Like the GV---I can get on HIM, he's just wide, not tall!)
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            • #7
              Well, that is part and parcel of getting old for some of us.
              A few years ago, I had a very tall horse, I am very short, the horse was having a silly moment after we went thru a gate and was shying from something badly.
              I tried to get on anyway and pulled the whole head of the hip off the socket, that luckily went back in on it's own.
              Doctor said I was getting old and that some years after menopause, for some, tendons and ligaments are not what they used to be, so quit straining like that.

              I started using a mounting block and two years ago, this time the horse tried to walk off away from the mounting block before I was on, I strained and tore the rotary cuff, that will be surgically repaired in a few weeks.

              Moral of my story, be careful, because sometimes, by no fault of your own, your body won't work right and pulling yourself up on a horse when it takes much straining is one of those times.

              I used to vault, but that also necessitates a young, limber body, that won't break when strained.
              You have to learn your limits, or you pay for it.

              All that not even thinking on the strain on the horse's body from someone ungainly scrambling up it's side.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's not even getting old--I was thirteen or fourteen when I racked up my left knee (using a mounting block) when the horse stepped off and I swung around. (Then a year later I wiped out the OTHER knee dancing. Whoohoo.)

                I am all in favor of mounting blocks. Tall ones.
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                • #9
                  5'3" rider and 16.2 horse. I just don't mount from the ground...I find a rock or a log or something to equalize the height disparity between us. My horse is not super tolerant either-he prefers to be mounted quickly and quietly, no scrambling and trying to climb up on him-he will just leave

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                  • #10
                    Each day I miss the good old days when i could leap bareback onto my 16 hand horse and not touch his rump and not break one of my long fingernails.

                    Now I've progressed from a 2 step mounting block to a 3 step and am thinking about those hoists that the knights of the round table used.

                    Fortunately, my 16.2 horse will crowd a gate and allow me to open it while sitting in the saddle. And we have a deal when trail riding: He does not make me have an unplanned dismount.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Get a shorter horse? LOL! All I can think of is practicing at home, and making sure you do it right so you don't pull too much on your horse's back. Unforunately I seem to always to be gate opener/closer as my horse is 14.2 hh (I am 5'4") LOL
                      Play It By Heart (Player) ~ 1999 bay Arabian gelding
                      Chall Struck WA (Little John) ~ 2005 chestnut Arabian gelding

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                      • #12
                        At home I have an actual step ladder that I use to mount. If I have to get off on the trail I have to go through all the hassle of either, lowering the stirrup or finding a hollow to put the horse in or something to stand on. So, needless to say, I only dismount off property when all else fails.

                        One of the first things I teach my horses is to "park out" or stand for mounting at the block (ladder) because not only am I old, I'm short too. Besides mounting with a step or block, they say is easier on tack and horse. I try to mount from the right (for my leathers' sake) also. Talk about awkward!
                        Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

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                        • #13
                          Ok tell me why you can't open and close gates from horseback. I used to ride trail in Colorado and horses were trained to stand still,back and side pass, do whatever was necessary to open and close gates, all kinds of gates . A good horse would help with her head.
                          I hear that you're riding big horses but I've opened 16 foot gates slowly backing and turns on the forehand. so what's up. Also on the equestrian with disabilities forum there was a thread on mounting problems. Decided we needed to teach our horses to bow!
                          My horse better open and close the gates because I cannot mount without a block, a tree , a ditch.
                          ??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by walkers View Post
                            Ok tell me why you can't open and close gates from horseback. I used to ride trail in Colorado and horses were trained to stand still,back and side pass, do whatever was necessary to open and close gates, all kinds of gates . A good horse would help with her head.
                            I hear that you're riding big horses but I've opened 16 foot gates slowly backing and turns on the forehand. so what's up. Also on the equestrian with disabilities forum there was a thread on mounting problems. Decided we needed to teach our horses to bow!
                            My horse better open and close the gates because I cannot mount without a block, a tree , a ditch.
                            ??
                            Here, we have wire gates and they are not safe to open from a horse, if you even could do that.
                            I do threaten to leave a bucket by each gate, so I can get back on.

                            Stretching a horse out, lowering the stirrup, all that helps when you still can somewhat get on.
                            There is a time that you can't get even with a stretched horse, or can't get all the way up from a stirrup let down, as your leg then doesn't reach over the saddle.

                            I guess we could have the horse lay down, then raise with us aboard.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, at my barn, I can't reach the gate chains while mounted. They're locked with chains and padlocks and unless I were hanging from a trick saddle I wouldn't be able to get at them. If they're unlocked, I can open them mounted, but if they're not I need a key and to be on the ground.
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                              • #16
                                I've got one of these:

                                http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Mount-Hor.../dp/B0012DQEP4

                                Fine device.

                                G.
                                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                  Here, we have wire gates and they are not safe to open from a horse, if you even could do that.
                                  I do threaten to leave a bucket by each gate, so I can get back on.

                                  Stretching a horse out, lowering the stirrup, all that helps when you still can somewhat get on.
                                  There is a time that you can't get even with a stretched horse, or can't get all the way up from a stirrup let down, as your leg then doesn't reach over the saddle.

                                  I guess we could have the horse lay down, then raise with us aboard.
                                  Ditto this, that is how our gates are, wire. Impossible to open/close from horseback. We do lots of riding in cattle pastures and many of the gates are also cattle guards with a wire gate beside it that we have to go through.
                                  Play It By Heart (Player) ~ 1999 bay Arabian gelding
                                  Chall Struck WA (Little John) ~ 2005 chestnut Arabian gelding

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                    I've got one of these:

                                    http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Mount-Hor.../dp/B0012DQEP4

                                    Fine device.

                                    G.


                                    I have one of those, but have to weld a 10" extension for it to work for me, it is way too short.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Hoofbeats02 View Post
                                      Ditto this, that is how our gates are, wire. Impossible to open/close from horseback. We do lots of riding in cattle pastures and many of the gates are also cattle guards with a wire gate beside it that we have to go through.
                                      Here, we tease that you can tell how old the ranch owner is by the cattleguards, so he can drive around without needing to get in and out to open gates and with metal gates by each cattleguard, so when horseback it doesn't has to dismount to open gates.

                                      Cowboy law is that, riding up to a gate, the youngest one not a kid gets the honor to get off and open the gate.
                                      Kids feel very adult when they finally get to be gate openers.
                                      Adults feel old when they don't ever have to open gates any more.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Teach your horse to help you

                                        You can teach your horse to help you with the gate. Works as long as the gate is on working hinges and vaguely balanced. You may need to offer to put the latch up to an easier height.

                                        I can't get on and off without a tall mounting block or similar in height object. (Back injury)
                                        I used clicker training, (positive re-enforcement) to shape the behavior I wanted the horse to do. I started by standing on the ground next to an easy,convenient gate. Every time the horse made the begining of the move toward the gate, she got a click and then a small favorite treat. By having her target my hand for the treat, I could move my hand to the gate and have her touch the gate with her nose. Every time that there was a big correct move, she got a "jackpot" of lots of treats, fed one at a time, and tons of praise. This process takes time, especially at first when the whole concept of rewarding thinking is new. Once the horse has the concept and understands the click is a cue of doing the right thing, the following things you want to teach get much, much easier.You have a 2 way communication system, so there fewer random, confusing, frustrating attempts. The horse will try harder and shut down less often.

                                        There is quite a bit on the net about clicker training.The version I use is the one that marine animal and zoo keepers use.

                                        P.m. me if you want to discuss it further.
                                        Intermediate Riding Skills

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