Horses require a period of gradual warm up for proper muscle function.
Cold muscles injure easily.
Therefore, you should begin by walking in both directions, advance to a trot/jog (again in both directions) before advancing to a canter/lope.
Walking your horse after a workout is essential to cool down its muscles and avoid cramps.
This may be done mounted, but it is preferable for the rider to lead the horse on the ground.
This also allows you to loosen the cinch so that your horse may breathe more easily.
Your horse is cooled down enough when its breathing has returned to normal without nostril dilation and when its chest and neck have dried. Mounting Safe and proper riding begins with safe mounting.
Different styles of riding have slightly different methods of mounting, but both maintain some basic principles: Before mounting your horse, always lead it to an open location where you wish to mount, ensuring that you are a reasonable distance from other horses.
Check your equipment to ensure that it is all adjusted correctly.
Check the cinch/girth and if it requires adjustment, tighten it before you proceed with mounting.
It is important that your horse does not move while you mount.
Adjust the reins evenly with enough tension to feel the bit so that you can hold your horse steady. 198 4 – H H o r s e P r o j e c t M a n u a l – Riding The eyes and ears of your horse can communicate to you if the horse is going to shy or bolt when you mount.
Therefore, as you mount, you should watch your horse’s head for such signs.
Short riders may need to use a mounting block to help them mount.
It should be solid and safe.
A mounting block may help to reduce pulling and strain on a horse’s back. If you ride Western, you would proceed to mount using the following steps: 1. 2.
Stand on the left side of your horse and place the reins over your horse’s head.
Take up the reins in your left hand, tight enough to keep your horse from stepping forward.
Lay the bight(loose ends) of your reins on the near side (when riding with a leverage bit), or crossed (when using a snaffle bit).
For utmost safety using a leverage bite, the reins may be crossed while mounting.
Then after mounting, both reins may be placed on the near side.
Face either the same direction as your horse, or face the side of your horse, using your peripheral vision to keep an eye on your horse’s head.
Be careful not to push your toe into the horse’s side.
Place your left hand on your horse’s neck in front of the withers, grasping the horse’s mane or the saddle pad if necessary.
Hold the stirrup with your right hand and place your left foot in the stirrup.
Your right hand may also be used on your left shin to help guide your foot into the stirrup.
If you are tall enough, your right hand may immediately be placed on the base of the horn (never on the cantle).
Grasp the saddle horn with your right hand and push up off the ground with your right leg.
Bouncing once or twice helps the shorter rider create energy to push themselves up rather than pulling heavily with their arms and stressing the horse’s withers.
Lift yourself to a standing position with your weight on the left stirrup.
Pass your right leg over the saddle without touching your horse.
Sit down gently in the saddle.
Put your right foot into the right stirrup (without leaning over to guide your foot into the stirrup with your hand).
Recenter your saddle.
Take up the reins and adjust them. 199 Riding 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 4 – H H o r s e P r o j e c t M a n u a l – Riding If you ride English, you would proceed to mount using the following steps: 1.
When leading a horse saddled with an English saddle, you should keep the stirrup irons run up (so they don’t bang the horse’s sides).
When preparing to mount, your adjustment of equipment will include lowering the stirrup irons, and adjusting their length as well as checking the girth and tightening if necessary.
As you pull the stirrup irons down, keep them away from the horse’s sides so that they do not knock him.
When they are fully down, place them gently back against his sides.
Place the reins over your horse’s head.
Stand on the left side of your horse and take the reins in your left hand, with the reins even and short enough to hold the horse steady.
Facing slightly towards the forequarters, with your left hand, grasp your horse’s mane at the withers (not the pommel of the saddle).
With your right hand turn the stirrup iron clockwise towards you.
Put your left foot into the stirrup, turning your toes into the girth, to avoid gouging your horse in its side.
Place your right hand on the offside (right) side of the saddle.
Turn slightly to face the side of your horse.
Push with your right foot to spring off the ground, then transfer your weight onto your left foot which is resting in the stirrup.
You should be facing into your horse when you leave the ground.
Lean slightly forward, keeping your body close to the horse.
Bring your right foot close to your left.
As you pass your right leg over the saddle without touching your horse, bring your right hand to the forward arch.
This will help you support and balance your upper body.
Sit down gently in the saddle.
Put your right foot into the right stirrup iron (without leaning over to grasp the stirrup with your right hand).
Take the reins with both hands and adjust them. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
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