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Wherever possible, in order to mount in a way that is most comfortable for the horse, use a mounting block, steps (such as the SMART Mounting Steps) or a leg-up. If this is not possible, use an assistant to counterbalance the saddle by the off-side leather near the top until you are satisfied with the fit. Where necessary, mounting from the ground can be easily achieved if the correct technique is used; the stirrup should be long enough so that it can be easily reached and the toe is not pushed into the horse’s barrel.
Check and, if necessary, tighten the girth again from the mounting block before mounting.
After placing the left foot in the stirrup, springing from the right foot vigorously will ensure that the arms are not overused to pull the rider’s weight up. The right hand should be used to push down on the right side of the saddle, either on the skirt or knee flap.
Maintain balance on the left stirrup while the right knee is raised and swung upwards and forwards. The upper body is used to counterbalance the saddle and keep it straight on the horse’s back.
4. The right leg is carefully swung forward to align the hips before sitting gently into the seat.
Before moving forwards, check the girth-tension by pulling on the billet strap – and if possible, tighten it.
The girth tension should not be tested by pushing a hand or fingers under the girth – many horses resent this and will tighten against it. The rider is also more likely to pull the saddle around with their weight and distort the tension.
There is always help and advice on hand - our Home Consultation Service is available for routine checks as well as help with fitting to different horses or riders. You can either contact your SMART Advisor directly or get in touch with Smart Saddles’ head office by phone: 01909 807870 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you.