How to Mount a Horse if You're Overweight: Safe Techniques

Sep 18, 2023 | Super Equestrian


How to Mount a Horse if You're Overweight: Safe Techniques

Mounting a horse plays a significant role in horse riding. The practice of safely mounting over the horse is a very critical step for the rider because horses are not prepared for mounting before and if you think you have excess weight, it will create a heavy pressure on the horse's body. 

As you are concerned with your weight, try to mount the horse using a block, which helps you to mount safely on the horse without giving extra pressure to the horse's body. Weight distribution plays a great role when mounting the horse. 

So, while mounting, focus on balancing your legs position and put your inside leg into the stirrup and stop for a second. Then, gently move the right leg on the other side of your horse's body to complete the mounting properly. 

The techniques of mounting a horse for being overweight are said to be easy in words but it is difficult to do practically because horses become afraid if someone tries to mount on its body. Let's discuss the safe and effective techniques to mount a horse being overweight in detail:

Choosing the Right Horse

Choosing the right horse is a very important task for the rider who is overweight. Let's examine the ways to select the correct horse, which might be comfortable for overweight riders:

How to Pick a Horse that's Comfortable for Overweight Riders?

You must consider a mathematical calculation for picking the comfortable horse for overweight riders. A horse can carry the weights of the rider, saddle or other equipment, which are 15 to 20% of its own body weight. Imagine, your weight is 90kg and you are looking for a perfect horse which can hold you comfortably. 

Before that you must know the weight of the saddle. Suppose the saddle weight is 11 kg. 

Now, 15% means 100÷15=6.6 and 20% means 100÷20=5

Let's jump into the main calculation, 

  • If the horse can hold 15% of its body weight, then the horse's weight should be= (your own weight+ saddle weight) ×6.6= (90+11) ×6.6=666.6 kg, the ideal weight of the horse if it carries 15% of its own body weight.
  • If the horse can hold 20% of its body weight, then the horse's weight should be= (your own weight+ saddle weight)×5= (90+11) ×5=505 kg, the ideal weight of the horse if it carries 20% of its own body weight.

So, you can easily choose the correct horse on the basis of your weight by doing the calculation. 

What Horse Traits Are Best for Overweight Riders?

If the horse can comfortably carry your weight, you will become satisfied while riding. A horse must have several characteristics to carry a rider. First of all, it should be strong enough, which is possible through regular training and exercise.

What Horse Traits Are Best for Overweight Riders

It has to build confidence in its mind that it can carry you whatever your weight is and you must cooperate with your horse to overcome its fear. This requires you to form a very good bond with the horse and instruct it to mount very lovingly.

Before mounting, gently try to convince the horse that you will soon mount on it for riding and start to care for it by touching its body. If you treat it with affection by making a friendly relationship and then mount on it, your horse will carry you very faithfully and you will enjoy the riding very much. 

Essential Equipment for Easy Mounting

There is a lot of equipment that is essential for easy mounting. Let's have a good understanding on those equipments:

What Equipment Do Overweight Riders Need for Safe Mounting?

Overweight riders need some special equipment for safe mounting such as a good quality safety stirrup where the rider can keep his foot safely and using a mounting block for easy mounting and dismounting. 

Safety stirrups used for overweight riders should be strong and durable enough so that the stirrups do not become defected due to the rider's weight, otherwise there will be problems in maintaining balance while riding.

Read this article to know Why are stirrups important in horse riding?

How Does a Mounting Block Help Overweight Riders?

Using a mounting block is the most popular way for mounting a horse for overweight riders. Mounting blocks help to keep the riders protected from any kind of  accidents while mounting or dismounting.      

How Does a Mounting Block Help Overweight Riders

On the other hand, a rider's weight can cause pain in the horse's spine and back, resulting in serious injuries to the horse. You can solve this problem by using mounting blocks.

Positioning Yourself for a Smooth Mount

Correct positioning is one of the most important aspects for a smooth and comfortable mount. Let's discuss about the strategies to maintain the right positioning during mounting:

How Do You Stand Right for Getting on a Horse?

Stand on the left side of the horse's shoulder to mount on its back from the ground. In ancient times, the warriors used to go for any battle with a group of horses and they mounted on the horses from the left side. Because they kept their sword used in the war in the left side of the waist and  pointed to the enemy by taking the sword in the right hand.

How Do You Stand Right for Getting on a Horse

Actually they used the left side when mounting  so that they could more easily point the sword at the enemy with their right hand. In fact, for their own convenience, the soldiers used the left side to mount the horse. Read this article to know more about Why do you mount a horse on the left side?

Why is Weight Distribution Important When Mounting?

During horse mounting, distribute your weight evenly across the horse's back, your left leg and the mounting block, so that you can control your body balance very well.

Additionally, you can hold someone else with one hand while mounting, if you are a beginner, your helper can assist you by lifting you upward.Then hold onto the reins with your left hand while carefully placing your left foot on a safety stirrup.

Building Confidence and Easing Nerves

We often find that many people do not have enough confidence in horse riding due to their weight. Let's discuss the ways to ease their nervousness:

How Can Overweight Riders Feel More Confident While Mounting?

The overweight riders suffer from great inferiority and are unable to do their favourite horse riding activity because they don't know how to choose a suitable horse according to their weight. And in many cases they have no idea about the use of blocks for mounting a horse by adopting some simple methods. 

If you can compare the horse's weight to your own weight and select a healthy, strong and experienced horse of the right weight, your confidence for mounting will increase.

What Can Help Overcome Anxiety About Horse Mounting?

If you are suffering from nervousness or anxiety due to your obesity, you should spend a lot of time with your horse to overcome your fear. You must learn the mounting strategy practically from a professional horse riding trainer. Read this article to know how to find a reputable horse trainer?

What Can Help Overcome Anxiety About Horse Mounting

Once you develop a good relation with the selected horse according to your weight, you can easily get on his back for riding. Because when you form a bond with it, you will easily be able to understand its mood, thoughts and everything about it. 

You must do some basic groundwork exercises with your horse to lead it and give treats showing rewards of its positive behaviour. Read this article to know what do horses like to eat as a treat?

Before mounting you should take all the precautionary measures such as wearing boots, safety vests and helmet to become protected from injury. These strategies might be helpful to overcome your anxiety in horse mounting.

Strengthening Your Core for Comfort

Core strengthening is very important for overweight riders to improve their stability in horse riding. Let's discuss about this matter:

Why is Core Strength Helpful for Overweight Riders?

Core strength helps to improve riding performance, shock absorption capability, reduces the chances of injury and increases the coordination of the rider as well. 

Horse riders need to be mentally fit and stable to enjoy the riding from their heart. An overweight person can become a good rider by practising regularly, which a normal weight person cannot if he does not practise enough. To improve the core strength the overweight riders need to do regular exercises for maintaining their fitness.

What Exercises Improve Core Strength for Easier Mounting?

You can do some easy exercises to improve your core strength. Let's explain the procedure of those exercises in detail: 

  1. Lie on your back keeping the legs straight. Then bring the two knees close to your chest and hold them with both hands. After keeping it like this for some time, stretch both legs again. In the same way, hold the knees for a few seconds and stretch the knees again. 
  2. To do this exercise first you have to sit straight. Then bring one leg to the groyne and keep the other leg straight. Then lower the neck along with the head and try to hold the toes of the straight leg with one hand. 

If you have any problem in your hamstring muscle (one kind of skeletal muscle remains between the hips and knees of the body) you can not touch your toes. This exercise can help to make your body flexible and you can easily touch your toes.

  1. Sit straight, keeping both legs extended. Then lie back slightly and fold both hands behind and try to touch the toes from the opposite side.This exercise helps to lengthen your hamstring muscles as a result you can easily mount the horse.

If you want to improve your core strength for easier mounting watch this video mounting exercises- exercises to help improve getting on the horse.

Creating a Welcoming Riding Environment

The relationship between the horse and the rider plays a significant role in creating a welcoming riding environment. Let's discuss the strategies to create a cheerful and satisfying riding environment:

Why's Inclusivity Important in Horse Riding?

A suitable environment for horse riding has a great effect on riding. If there are problems in the riding environment, neither horse nor rider can enjoy riding well. So, creating a perfect riding environment is very important before starting riding. Paddock is the perfect place for horse riding, where horses roam freely, graze and enjoy the company of other horses.

As the place is open, you can easily practise riding there. 

Why's Inclusivity Important in Horse Riding

How Can We Make Horse Riding More Inclusive for All?

We can make horse riding more inclusive by expanding the facilities for the riding equipment and necessary environment for all, so that everyone will get easy access for practice riding. 

Some free seminars or training can be organised to encourage the common people about horse riding, where everyone can know how horse riding helps in keeping our body and mind healthy.

To Conclude

Since, mounting a horse is concerned with preparing the horse for riding and enhancing its confidence to hold a person on its body, you must consider the whole mounting step very carefully if you are concerned with your weight. Before mounting try to create a good bonding with the horse and make it comfortable to hold you. Then, proceed to the next step of mounting. 

If you have any opinion about the article, please comment and feel free to share this content with anyone who wants suggestions about mounting a horse due to being overweight. 

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