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Western Mounting for Horse Riders

Part of the Horseback Riding For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Because there’s more to hold onto with a Western saddle and riders wear longer stirrups, mounting in a Western saddle is easier than mounting in an English one. Follow these steps to mount Western-style:

  1. Lead your horse to the area where you want to mount.

  2. Position yourself and stay in control of the horse.

    Place the reins over your horse’s head, maintaining your grip on the reins. Stand at the horse’s left shoulder, facing the back of the horse. The reins should be in your left hand (and should stay there during and after your mount). With the same hand, grab hold of the saddle horn.

  3. Using your right hand, grasp the stirrup and turn it toward you; place your left foot in the stirrup.

  4. Swing into the saddle.

    Turn your body toward the horse as you grasp the cantle with your right hand. Bounce on your right foot three times and then launch yourself up, letting go of the cantle as your leg swings over it. (Use power from your legs to push your body upward, minimizing how much you pull up your weight with your arms.) Swing your right leg over the horse’s hindquarters, being careful not to touch them, and land gently in the saddle.

  5. Place your right foot in the stirrup and gather up the reins.

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