Video: Mount horse without girth for educational purposes; proper mounting technique.

This demo is done to show the proper distribution of the riders weight when mounting. It is not something for everyone to try. Never ride without your saddle properly secured.

When I attended college and majored in Equestrian Studies one of my ‘tests’ was the ability to mount up without a girth. The instructor didn’t just loosen the girth – she completely removed it. The whole class got a chance to try with the same patient horse. Thankfully the horse was around 15 hands and had a nice set of whithers…but the point was also made.

Mounting isn’t about d..r..a..g..g..i..n..g.. your self on. It is about technique. Sometimes tall horses, short riders or physical challenges make great technique difficult or impossible, if that is the case, consider using a mounting block. I am for using mounting blocks, ditches, a leg up and other things to make mounting easier for both horse and rider. I also believe in proper mounting techniques.


I can’t see anything wrong with using a mounting block and there could be many benefits.

Some people argue that a mounting block is easier on the horse because the rider doesn’t put uneven pressure on the horse when mounting. The degree of benefit would likely be influenced by the horse and rider team, as the combination will help determine what is ‘easier’ for the horse. The age, size and athletic ability of both the horse and the rider would play a part.

Many cutting and reining horses are short, some never reach 14.2 and would technically be ponies. It is much easier to mount up on a 14.1 hand horse than a 17.2 hand horse. How easy or difficult mounting would be is also determined by how athletic the rider is. Most 16 year olds can spring up into the saddle easier than a 50 year old who has had knee surgery.

Mounting is more strenuous for the horse when the rider struggles to mount. A young, fit horse may tolerate this better than an older, unfit horse but it isn’t ideal for either. Many riders never learn how to spring off the ground and transfer their weight into a downward pressure rather than hanging off the horses side, twisting the saddle. Some riders know how to mount properly but become forgetful or lazy. Still others face physical challenges that make mounting smoothly difficult. If you believe that you are putting excessive strain on the horse during mounting, consider teaching the horse to stand near objects for mounting.

Teaching a horse to stand near objects for mounting has no real drawbacks and will increase the horses knowledge base. Many things can be used for mounting including; mounting block, fence rails, stumps or logs. It is important that you are able to remount wherever you are riding so if mounting is difficult also consider carrying one of the many portable mounting devices that are available.


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  2. Tasha on January 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I just wanted to point out something else you did to help the horse that is important when mounting. You and Joshua had your right hand on the seat jockey of the opposite side of the saddle verses holding the cantle like Jesse did. Holding the cantle while you mount wrenches the saddle and causes you to be tempted to not use your left hand holding the mane. If you hold the pommel or just have your hand close to the front like you guys did you never have to let go while getting on. Jesse had to let go of his right hand to get his leg around. Its a small thing but important. Esspically if you ride colts, you really dont want to be letting go of anything that first swing over 😉

  3. Lynnette Jalufka on January 22, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the video. I’m trying to improve my mounting technique so I won’t have to use a mounting block.

  4. Debbie on January 22, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I never thought much about mounting until I saw Kenny Harlow at an expo and that is how he started off the demo……….and then he went on to talk about all the reasons you mentioned as to why we should pay attention to what we do to the horse while mounting. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Karen Bockus on January 22, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Awesome. Thanks so much for this video I can hardly wait to try it. Excellent article.

  6. Sydne on January 22, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Wow, I just can’t get my head round this being possible- was waiting to see it from the other side of the horse to figure out how you do it but it still seems like magic 😀 That being said, I must confess I’m a rubbish mounter. Always the riding block for me…

    • barbkeith on January 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      I’m with you! I guess i have never learned how to mount properly and now I am short and heavy so always use a mounting block.

  7. Jenny Northcott on January 21, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Way to go Joshua! You did a great job demonstrating how to mount without a girth. Well done! Definitely deserve an “A” for that assignment!

  8. Lesia Lowe on January 21, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    ok… that was pretty cool……and ummmmm Joshua is your twin!…..he looks just like you! LoL

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