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How do you dismount?

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  • How do you dismount?

    I'm just curious to hear how others dismount from their horse.

    For myself I take both feet out of the stirrups and leaning slightly on the horses neck and my right hand on the pommel swing my right leg over and come down on both feet. I guess it would be similar to an emergency dismount.

    I was watching a lesson yesterday and the young girl kept her left foot in the stirrup and swung her right leg around and stood momentarily in one stirrup, leaned on the saddle taking her foot out and then slid down the horse's side. I was thinking if she wasn't careful she could get a stirrup in the face on her way down.

    How were you taught to dismount?
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  • #2
    I dismount as you do. BOTH feet out of the stirrups. Don't see a lot of people do that though.

    You are the most vulnerable when you are mounting or dismounting, taking both feet out eliminates the risk that you might get dragged if horsey spooks or something!
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    • #3
      I was taught to dismount with both legs out of the stirrups.
      I generally advise others to do it this way as well.


      However, I generally ride in full custom chaps that have a metal belt buckle, often with a separate large belt buckle on my belt in addition.

      If I just slide off with both feet out of the stirrups it scratches the saddle so I swing the right leg over and keep the belt buckle high enough by standing up in my left stirrup until my right foot is swung over and even with the left, and then jump out of the left stirrup.

      There have been one or two times where I bungled the coordination here and almost ended up flat on my @$$.
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      • #4
        Whenever possible I do a western dismount (step down.) Or the method described the girl uses. Even that hurts the feet and knees quite a bit. Otherwise I have to flop over his back and try to slide off without stirrups--lifting myself off and jumping just really hurts on the landing. (Especially in riding boots, with the hard soles with no cushion or support.)
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        • #5
          Both feet out of the stirrups, swing the right leg over and push myself away from the horse as I land. Also helps keep from getting a stirrup smacked into my face.

          If I kept my foot in the L stirrup I'd probably dislocate something. The horse is tall and the stirrup comes about mid-chest.
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          • #6
            I always (always) take both feet out of the stirrups before I dismount. When its cold and the ground is extra ouchy I will bring my mare back over to the mounting block to dismount since it makes the ground two feet closer. We have a giant "picnic-style" mounting block which is big enough to safely get off on.

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            • #7
              It depends on the size of the horse and the temperature. On smaller horses (< 16 hands) or ponies and on larger horses in the summer, I drop both stirrups and swing my leg over. On larger horses in the colder months, I do what the girl did and swing one leg over, drop my stirrup, and slide down. My knees object very strongly to long drops when it's cold and I can control my descent a lot more if I use the second method to dismount.

              I never step down with my foot still in the stirrup.

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              • #8
                On my mare I dismount in a scary fashion. I swing my right leg over her neck and then slid down. But she has been taught for this. On other horses I dismount either with the step down method or kick both feet clear. However I try to only ride my mare or others like her that I can swing my leg over the neck. Dismounting in the proper way usually results with me landing on my butt/back because one or both knees give out. By going forward my knees don't buckle. Should add that my mare can be dismounted in normal fashion as well as mounted/dismounted from wrong side.

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                • #9
                  If you are riding a saddle with a horn you want to leave one foot in the stirrup until the other one is on the ground. The reason is because it is very easy for loose clothing to become hung up on the horn as you dismount. With your off side leg swung over and free, and your onside leg also free of the stirrup, you will be dangling and have nothing to help you clamber back up and unhook yourself from the horn. If your horse is very steady you can wiggle and try to scramble a leg back over the saddle or get one in a stirrup... I speak from experience on this situation and was lucky my horse was unflappable and there was a strong friend nearby to quickly dismount run over and lift me up and unhook me as I found myself dangling helplessly from my horse's saddle horn in a rainstorm, on the top of a tricky mountain pass, headed home, with spooked deer running through the brush. Easily could've been a disaster.

                  I have also seen many many many riders, mostly women, get 'de-shirted' dismounting with both legs free. Very embarrassing.

                  I have also heard of a story of an english rider getting the hook end of a peacock iron jammed in a very very uncomfortable place.

                  I have the bad habit of swinging my offside leg over the horse's neck and sliding down facing away from my horse. Only on my own horses and horses I know well though. I did pull this move on a horse I didn't know well and got bucked off for it (landed on my feet though!).

                  On horses less familiar to me I dismount as JSwan.

                  A couple of weeks ago I rode with a friend who just wanted to walk on a long trail ride. My feet had fallen asleep. We got back to the barn, I dismounted and when I hit the ground I had 'no feet' and crumpled. That was a surprise.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ridinwyoming View Post
                    I'm just curious to hear how others dismount from their horse.

                    For myself I take both feet out of the stirrups and leaning slightly on the horses neck and my right hand on the pommel swing my right leg over and come down on both feet. I guess it would be similar to an emergency dismount.

                    I was watching a lesson yesterday and the young girl kept her left foot in the stirrup and swung her right leg around and stood momentarily in one stirrup, leaned on the saddle taking her foot out and then slid down the horse's side. I was thinking if she wasn't careful she could get a stirrup in the face on her way down.

                    How were you taught to dismount?
                    Your way sounds like you are putting yourself and your weight on the horses neck?? I have always ( english/ western) Kicked right foot out ,stand, swing leg over and at same time kick left foot free and drop to the ground. Hands are on the front and rear parts of whatever saddle i am in. I at least THINK that is how I do it. I have been riding since I was 10 ( now 48). I do it so quick and automatically I am not sure. I was not taught , just what I have done.

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                    • #11
                      Wow, I think I'm more elaborate that everyone so far. I have the same problem as meupatdoes, except I still kick both my legs out of the stirrups because the idea of getting my foot caught in the stirrup freaks me out. In order to not scrath my saddle, I lean forward just a little and swing my right leg behind the saddle with enough "umph" that I practically propel myself out of the saddle. It may sound a little worse than it is - it's basically just an extra hip thrust after you are out of the stirrups.

                      If the horse is shorter and I'm riding western, I sometimes step down.

                      I will say that the biggest problem with my method is that I hit the ground hard and it hurts like an m-effer in the winter.
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                      • #12
                        i dismount as you do (english tack). on a very tall horse i keep a fistful of mane and one hand over the seat of the saddle and try to slow my descent a bit. (i also have to make a point of wiggling my toes and circling my ankles when it's cold, or i, too, land with "no feet." )

                        interestingly, when i was first taught to ride nearly 40 years ago, they taught us the 2d method. these days though, all the barns i've ridden at have been emphatic about having both feet out. (and i do ride in peacocks, and i *have* caught my clothes on the hook occasionally. usually in the winter when i have 14 layers on. )
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                        • #13
                          I was taught the way you do it - both legs out, lean forward and swing off (with a nice little 'jump' so you land away from the horse).

                          That's not how I do it though. After I ride, my poor bones (and ligaments, tendons and whatever else is in there) are stiff and a little sore so here's how I do it: Lean forward and take right foot out of stirrup. Push up on pommel with right hand as right leg swings over cantle, lean entire body over saddle while looking at the ground. Take left leg out. Continue looking at the ground on the right side of pony (yes, pony.) Let knees kind of stretch out for a minute. Prepare for landing. Hold on to right stirrup leather near the top, make sure left stirrup is still to the left of my left leg and slide downward. Make an oomph sound as I semi crumple to the ground. Break landing by bending knees. Slowly straighten knees. Pat pony for being such a kind understanding pony. Waddle into the barn, give pony cookie.

                          I'm Ok after about 2 minutes back on the ground but that's my reality for dismounting. This is why I don't ride greenies or spooky horses anymore!
                          Last edited by oldpony66; Nov. 1, 2011, 04:43 PM. Reason: can't spell.

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                          • #14
                            I am a reasonably tall rider on a pony for whom I am at max weight allowance. And I'm not as flexible as I once was. He finds it REALLY uncomfortable if I hang a leg on the cantle of the saddle/packsaddle and wind up hanging off his side, as that scenario puts his balance well off kilter (ask him how he knows!)

                            He's just more comfortable if I stay balanced by keeping my stirrup on the side to which I'm dismounting until I have that leg safely over his rump. I then lean across his back a little to keep my weight centered, drop the other stirrup, and slide down.
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                            • #15
                              I do what the girl described by the OP does, especially if I'm wearing front zips. I definitely don't want my belt scratching up the pommel. I push off pretty hard from the horse; I don't slide down the side.

                              Once, my crop was sticking out from under the pommel (put it there momentarily right before dismounting and forgot to remove it) and i tried to dismount with both feet out of the stirrups... I ripped my bra straight down the middle Not a pleasant experience!
                              "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
                              ~George Morris

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                              • #16
                                On purpose, ideally.
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                                • #17
                                  Used to do it the Pony Club, correct way, but now I do it about like Old Pony 66.. My horse is over 17 hh, I'm not as agile as I was and have taken care to train her to stand stationary while I do the on and off thing. The ONE thing I am absolutely strict over. I hang on like crazy with my arms and slowly slide down. It is still a long way down and she'd better be like a rock so I stay upright. I'll try and park her in a swale if I can. And my saddle does have some scratches on it from zippers. I cut the little Pikeur medallion off.
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                                  • #18
                                    I use the dismounting block

                                    and my good horse always gets a carrot when I am safely off his back so he stands and waits for it.

                                    I have one foot in the stirrup and one foot on the mounting block before I take the foot out of the stirrup.

                                    I have a lot of hardware in my ankle and no cartilage in my knees and I am glad to be riding at all.
                                    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

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                                    • #19
                                      I was taught to dismount the way the girl in the OP does it. Right foot out of the stirrup, swing right leg over, left foot out of the stirrup, hop down.

                                      That being said, I'm probably half and half with doing it that way and kicking both feet out of the stirrups and dismounting.

                                      Now that winter and the fantastic Chicago cold is approaching I will be dismounting the winter way - clinging and sliding down my horse's shoulder as slow as I can 'till my feet almost hit the ground!

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                                      • #20
                                        At my age, gingerly LOl...I do as the girl in the OP does..my horse is very patient with me..sometimes depending on the state of my various body parts it is just not pretty at all. Thankfully he is rock solid while I dismount..although sometimes I swear he rolls his eyes at me. Deservedly so I may add!

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