“What is your opinion on mounting blocks? Is it easier and better for the horse? My horse is getting a little age on her and I want to do what is best for her.”-Rhonda J.

Mounting blockI 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.

Available at Stagecoach West, click here for more info.

Trail step

Some items, like this Trail Step are designed to travel with you and yet are not easily stolen.