Re: western saddle ?
Posted by Gail Ivey on 7/17/2012, 9:17 pm, in reply to "western saddle ?"
Could be a couple of things. The saddle may not fit. I used to demonstrate how you could mount a saddle with no cinch if it fit right, even on the roundest, lowest withered horses. If the saddle fits, it either needs to be tighter, or your technique could be the problem. |
The saddle on a young horse should always be tight enough not to let the saddle roll. It's a far worse thing for a young horse to deal with a saddle that goes underneath than it is to be a little squeezed for the first few minutes. Too loose is worse than too tight. Make sure you let him move around after it's tight, walk, trot, canter, without a rider, before climbing on.
It could also be your technique. As long as your horse is gentle and doesn't have a tendency to be touchy about being mounted, make sure your right hip is close to the horse, close enough to touch him, and face forward with your toe pointing straight ahead in the stirrup. Do NOT put your left hand on the HORN! Take a hold of the reins and the mane and use the mane to pull yourself up. You can put your right hand on either the horn or the cantle. I prefer the horn, so I never have to let go until I'm settled. If you put your right hand on the cantle, you have to let go to swing your leg over. Make sure you have a bounce to lift you up, not try to drag yourself up. Mount from both sides, too, so reverse what I just said for the other side. Some folks face the side of the horse when the mount and try to swing the leg over. That will pull the saddle down. Face forward while you're standing in the stirrup with your right hip touching the saddle before swinging your leg over. Don't land with a thump and don't reach down to pick up the stirrup with your right hand once you get on. You need to pick up the stirrup with your foot, and without nudging the horse to do it. If you have to use your hand, don't lean over and reach down, pick up the fender right under your thigh and rotate it so you can pick up the stirrup with your foot.
So, summing up - tight enough not to let the saddle roll, face forward, stay close, left hand in the MANE and right hand on the horn or cantle, bounce lightly up, keeping your hip close enough to touch the horse before swinging your leg over, pick up the stirrup with your foot.
Also, I didn't ask - has he been ridden already, or are you practicing mounting without him ever having been ridden? In my experience, when folks are starting young horses themselves, they should probably mount up from the fence the first few times, until the horse gets used to the rider being in the saddle and carrying the person around before learning to stand while being mounted from the ground. Takes some of the stress off of them once they figure out why you're climbing up the side of them.
"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for." -