Getting on...

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Pointless post, but how big is your horse? And can you get on from the ground? And if not what do you do if you can't but need to jump off to do something?

Jake is 17.3hh, I'm 5'6, and yes I can get on from the ground. Although it's not always graceful!

I thought of this after dropping my whip, ripping my stirrup leather off, and one of his bandages ripping and becoming unraveled all during one hack. And I was thinking, what on earth would I do if I couldn't have gotten back on! I have always fancied being able to fling myself on like the Gymkhana people, but no hope there!
 
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DD265

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12 April 2013
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He's 14.2hh, I'm 5'4. I haven't tried to mount from the ground in over 5 years (due to his injury/retirement) and I certainly wouldn't ask that of him now.

I've taught him to stand like a rock to be mounted so I just climb on from a grass banking at the side of the bridleway or a dry stone wall - or even the climbing frame in the park! I took him out on Wednesday and ended up leading him up a hill because he was tired (older horse coming back into work, only the 4th time out) then got back on at the top from a wall.

I definitely have more confidence to get off and back on now, than I did when we were younger and I mounted from the ground.
 

wills_91

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I'm 5ft3 horse is 16.3hh I don't get on from the ground, ever. She's been out of work for 18 months now anyway so I would have absolutely no chance of getting in from the ground :) as above I teach to stand still so I can get in from various objects. If I have to get off and can't find suitable thing to get back on from I walk.
 

Starzaan

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I'm 5'7 and my horse is 17.1hh and still growing. I can get on him from the ground (well, I assume so. I know I can get on pretty much anything from the ground when I have to - biggest I've tried was 18.1hh, not elegant but I did it having dropped £50 out hunting!!) but I never do.

I never ever put my foot in the stirrup to mount unless forced to by circumstance. I can't remember the last time I had to. I don't want to pull his back muscles around and do damage, I don't want to stretch my stirrup leathers, and I find most horses will stand like a rock against pretty much anything when you don't put your foot in the stirrup. In my experience most start to fidget or walk off as soon as your foot hits the stirrup.
 

Kezzabell2

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I'm 5'7 and horse is 16'2. I cant get on from the ground. I've always struggled, probably because I have always used a mounting block

My horse is luckily very good and will Park next to things so I can get back on. Like logs, walls, gates, tractor attachments, mounds of chalk
 

laura_nash

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Ireland
I'm 5' 4'', horse is 14.3. I can get on from the ground, just, but try to avoid it. I had a year when I couldn't after having my daughter (lost my "bounce", in fact I struggled to get on from anything lower than saddle height initially). I never have any trouble hopping off as I always find something to use, horse is trained to stand still anywhere for mounting (though we do still have the odd argument about whether eating is allowed). I have a mental block against mounting from gates (always feel unsafe standing on them the wrong way around) so prefer to find a bank, wall or something. I guess it depends a bit on where you ride, its all banks, walls and tree stumps around here.
 

EQUIDAE

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I'm 5ft1 and fell off head first after trying to post a letter from horseback. I ended up getting back on by climbing on a wall and then the letterbox!

You can get stirrups that have a drop down part to give you that few inches. I just whack my stirrup leathers on the longest hole, then adjust them again when on board.
 

HelenS

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Ancient 5.9' rider on a 17.3 warmblood, and no, not a chance in Hell that I can get on from the ground! Can't even do the long stirrup thing as my poor legs will no longer stretch up that far, and if they do, then the ancient arms can't pull myself up, so it has to be a wall, mounting block, bank or anything high these days. I dread having to get off, in fact I hate getting off full-stop because it is an awfully long way down and the said ancient ankles no longer flex like they used to do in my youth.

And before anyone suggests I shouldn't have had such a big horse, he was bred to be 16.2 to take me into my dotage. Sadly he forgot to stop growing!!!
 

Spot_the_Risk

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Tinne's about 15hh, I've never even tried to mount from the ground, there's always something to scramble onto to make life easier. My 'mounting block' is an old granite gatepost lying prone close to my gateway, I think it's my neighbours... It's about 18" so just perfect, and about five foot long, allows for forward movement!
 

Shutterbug

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Im 5'3 and my biggest lad is 16'3 - I have had to get off on hacks and get back on - I hate getting on from the ground I always feel its such a strain on his back and my legs but if I absolutely have to I will drop his stirrup and try and find a mound of grass or a fence to give me some extra height. I came off my friends 17'1 WB last week out a hack when he decided to bronc up the path with me and had to get on from the ground - luckily there was a ditch I could put him into which allowed me some leverage and I managed to, very ungracefully, haul myself back up. It was not pretty
 

Orca

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5'6'' and can get on anything from the ground but use a block if available, to preserve saddle and back (horses!) but it's nice to know I can when I need to. I doubt I'd ride much if I couldn't for the sorts of reasons you mention, OP. I'd feel vulnerable if I couldn't hop back on!

I can't vault though. When in Pony Club, I'd have loved to take part in more games but just couldn't be taught how. I clearly remember numerous people wasting their time trying to teach me but for some reason, I couldn't wrap my head around it.
 

Equi

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I don't get on from the ground and have not since i was about 12. The most adventurous thing i have used to get on was a plough, and i was standing on the pointy bits. I had just came off my TB at full pelt, and this seemed like a good idea. I got stuck because i had really injured my hip and couldn't move my leg over him, so sort of had to plank on him to get on hahahah.

A kid at the RS i went to for a bit literally spider climbs up the horses. She can get on any horse, and shes about 4ft tall.
 

fattylumpkin

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Sweden
5'2" and horse is 15'3 :) I can get on from the ground with a bit of struggling (though not in winter weather, too much clothing). It's never very graceful so I prefer to park by things and clamber on that way and luckily she's good at letting me, even if I did use an anthill once by mistake and cover us both in biting ants...

Mission this year is to learn to mount bareback!
 
Joined
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I completely agree with not doing it unless absolutely necessary, on one of our hacking routes we have to use a phone both sides of the train crossing to get the signal changed, and the phone is so low down that I have to literally hang off the side of him like a trick rider!
 

rowan666

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I don't mount anything from the ground anymore since I'm no longer a flexible bag of bones with a rock hard core, it just puts too much pressure on their backs, plus I struggle to mount my 13.2 from a step up anyway so anything bigger and I need a crane to get me up!
 

rachk89

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He is 16.2hh. I am 5 ft 8. Nope can't get on from the ground. Probably could if I got a bit more flexible and stronger but I wouldn't anyway. Wouldn't want to pull on his back like that I am heavy enough for him don't want to make that worse haha.
 

Micropony

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I am 5' 5", my current horse is 16h and my last one was 17.1.
Never tried mounting this one from the ground.
Tried once with the big one and he had no idea what was going on and found the very idea quite alarming. So on the odd occasion I had to get off (or fell off!) on a hack I would use a wall or a tree stump or something, even if it meant leading for a bit until we found something suitable.
Suppose I could have put the effort in and trained him to be mounted from the ground, but it's not something I am keen to do for the sake of their backs, so I didn't bother.
 

Elsbells

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G
I never ever put my foot in the stirrup to mount unless forced to by circumstance. I can't remember the last time I had to. I don't want to pull his back muscles around and do damage, I don't want to stretch my stirrup leathers, and I find most horses will stand like a rock against pretty much anything when you don't put your foot in the stirrup. In my experience most start to fidget or walk off as soon as your foot hits the stirrup.
Why didn't I think of this it makes so much sense ?! I'm going to give this a try.
 

Nudibranch

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I'm another who doesn't put a foot in the stirrup. Works a treat. Mine are 16.3 and 17.2 (and growing) and although I am 5'10 I can't get on from the ground. I've never had much flexibility for it and anyway its better all round not to. If you have a horse who is used to it there's no need. There's always something to climb on. And OH built me a beautiful stone mounting block for home :)
 

pepsimaxrock

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I don't do it cos it's bad for her back. She's only 15hh and I am only 5'1. But I'm an older rider and because I no longer mount from the ground to save her back I find that I just can't do it any more. It's a vicious circle where practice makes perfect but practice is bad for the horse :(
 

Catherine94

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I'm 5'10 and my biggest is 17hh. Generally I use a mounting block as I feel it's better for her back but I can get on her from the ground by using the stirrup or vaulting is she's bareback :) Funny thing is, when I did mounted games I couldn't vault on a 14hh for the life of me yet now I can vault on my mare like its the easiest thing. Typical really... :p
 

Sukistokes2

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I never mount from the ground, glad i'm not alone there. I am five ft high and have a 15hh and a 14hh and ride both in Heather Moffatt saddles, so not a chance in hell of clambering up! Both of mine line up with banks and gates and stand still until I'm up. Even if I could, I wouldn't, it's so bad for them.
 

ShadowHunter

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im 5ft 1ish and my mare is 14.2, cant get on from the ground, my foot won't reach the stirrup even at its lowest. I have a 3 step block which puts me at the height of the stirrup so its easy and saves her back. Out hacking i'd look for something suitable if i had to get off or have any companions i might have, give me a leg up.
 

southerncomfort

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I'm 5'3 and a bit and my mare is 14.3hh. I haven't attempted to get on from the ground a) because I am a graceless eejit and it wouldn't be pretty and b) because said mare is 23 years old and deserves not to have a human hauling herself up on to the back. I mount up from the park bench outside the field. :)
 
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i'm 5'7 and my horse is 15.2. She fidgets as it is at the block so I always use the block to get on, but once I dropped my glove on the other side of the school and I had blisters on my heels so after getting her to stand still I got on from the floor. I don't like getting on from the floor though if I can help it.
 

Gloi

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Mine aren't big at all but having ponies with no wither for a long time where the saddle just spins if I try to mount from the stirrup I no longer try and just stand them next to something.
 

YorksG

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I'm 5'6" and the mare is 15.3, I can get on from the ground if I really have to, but don't if I can avoid it. The mare went through a phase of loosing her Hi-Viz leg wraps (just one each time) and I had to get off and retrieve it, If possible I would stand on a stone, wall or even a raised verge. I use a portable block in the yard and make sure that I can get on from either side. I intend to train the youngsters to be mounted from either side too and don't intend to get on from the ground if I can avoid it, they are both 16hh and I don't want any back problems. I also tend to do a military dismount currently as the cantle is high on my new saddle and I don't want to be kicking any horses bums!
 

Meredith

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the sat-nav is wrong, go farther up the hill
This thread has made me feel so much better. I have always felt slightly useless because I have never been able to get on anything bigger than 14hh without climbing up somewhere. It is good to know I am not alone. Advancing age, creaking joints and being 5' 1" do not help either. My 15.3 has been taught to stand by banks, gates etc so we manage pretty well. Also good to know that my inadequacies prevent damage to withers etc.
 
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