Stories & Inspiration

How Do You Mount Your Horse?

by | Dec 6, 2020

Cate had a stressful day.

She is still chatting with her friend in an emotional discussion about politics while dragging her horse to the mounting block. She feels stressed, and she knows she won’t have a lot of time to ride tonight. So, better hurry!

Still talking with her friend, she cinches the girth quite harshly and too tight, not noticing her horse’s pinned ears and discomfort.

Already on the mounting block, she realizes that she did not bring down the stirrup on the other side. So, she leans over her horse, awkwardly fiddling with the stirrup.

Her horse who had been really patient until this point, moves away from the mounting block. Cate steps off the mounting block, cussing and cursing, to push and pull her horse back into position.

She then quickly steps back onto the mounting block. The horse is in a crooked and unbalanced position but she just wants to get on now. It’s been annoying enough already.

The moment she swings her leg over her horse’s back, the horse takes a step forward. She manages to get into the saddle with a bang.

Well, that wasn’t very gracious, she thinks. Her horse has already tensed his back from the impact.

Now that she finally is on, they are ready for the ride.


Cate had a stressful day.

She is now in the arena to get on her horse. Earlier in the barn, she had politely told a friend who had started an anxious discussion about politics, that she would like to focus on her horse now and enjoy her time with him.

On her way to the arena she takes a few deep exhalations like she had done earlier while tacking him up. – Letting go of the thoughts in her head and allowing her horse to invite her into his peaceful no-mind place.

Before going to the mounting block, she does what she always does: She makes this a conscious transition from being on the ground to being in the saddle.

She gets everything ready. Cinches quietly, brings the stirrups down, reins in position.

Only when she knows they are both ready, she brings her horse on a straight line to the mounting block, so that he can stand quietly and balanced while she gets on the mounting block.

She takes a brief moment on the mounting block to make sure her horse is with her and then gently gets on her horse’s precious back.

They stand for another moment, and then – on her command – walk off. They are ready for the ride.

Who do you think will have the better ride?

The mounting phase is such an important and underestimated phase of your ride. It’s where you are setting both of you up for success: preparedness, calmness, balance, and centeredness.

This will be so much more joyful and connected right from the start. Spare yourself the frustration that is so easily avoidable!

Exercise: Take a moment to visualize the way you usually mount. Where are the weak points? Which ones of the steps above are you missing?

Then, visualize the perfect way to mount your horse. Really play it through in your mind, with your eyes closed.

And then pay attention next time you mount.

Let me know how it goes.

And: Don’t beat yourself up, if you have been Cate #1! 😉