How do I get off a horse?

Getting off a horse is similar to getting on…except gravity is working in your favor. Here are a few simple steps to master the dismount:


1. Come to a complete stop

Ask the horse to stop, preferably on flat ground. Let the horse stand for a second or two to make sure that they are going to remain quiet and still.

If the horse is moving around, ask the horse to stop again.

If flat ground is not an option, then position the horse so that the horse’s left side is on the higher side of the hill; this is the side you will be dismounting on.


2. Hold the reins in your left hand

When you feel ready to dismount, put the reins in your left hand.

Hold your reins so that they are taught, but not pulling back on the horse’s mouth. You can also grip some of the horse’s mane or put your hand on the saddle horn to ensure that your reins stay at a good length.


3. Stand up in your stirrups

Stand up in your stirrups and find your balance. Then slowly slide your right foot out of the stirrup.

If you need a little extra support, you can put your right hand on the seat rise. This will also help you stay centered over the horse.


4. Lift your right leg over the back of the horse

In a smooth motion, take your right leg up and over the back of the horse. Be careful to clear the sides and the rear of the horse so that you do not accidentally bump the horse. Both legs should be on the left side of the horse now.


5. Lift your left foot out of the stirrup

Once you have both legs on the left side of the horse, place your right hand onto the saddle rise to stabilize yourself.

Lean against the saddle, and lift your body up so that you can slide your left foot out of the stirrup.

Try not to shake your leg or wiggle around because this could unintentionally spook the horse.


6. Slide down the side of the horse

Once your foot is safely out of the stirrup, turn your body to face forward and slide down to the ground. You made it!


7. Hold the reins

Continue to hold the reins in your left hand near the front of the saddle. Use your right hand to hold the reins near the horse’s chin.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully dismounted the horse. With practice, you’ll be able to move smoothly from one step to the next like a pro!

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