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How To Dismount


After your ride you'll want to dismount safely with a minimum of discomfort to your horse and yourself. Practice these steps and you will be able to get off smoothly.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Make your horse stand still quietly.

  2. Remove both feet out of the stirrups.

  3. Grasp both reins in your left hand, with just enough tension to pull the horse up if it steps forward.

  4. Lean forward and with both hands on the horse’s neck just in front of the withers shift your weight onto your arms.

  5. Swing your right leg up and over the horse’s haunch. Be sure to lift it high enough to clear the horse’s haunches and the back of the saddle. Push yourself away from the horse slightly so that you don’t hit any of the equipment and land clear of his legs. The momentum of your leg and the shift of your weight over the horse’s forehand will help you vault off.

  6. Bend your knees to absorb the shock of the landing when your feet hit the ground. Once you are off grasp the reins close to the bit with your right hand then lift the reins over the horse’s head to lead it.

  7. Note: Some riders dismount by taking their right foot out of the stirrup and shifting their weight into the left stirrup, leaving their left foot in the stirrup until the right foot hits the ground. This puts more strain on the horse’s back and the saddle. It should only be used if the described method is impossible for the rider.


  1. If you are just starting out you may want some to hold the horse while you are practicing.

  2. Practice without reins with someone holding the horse.

  3. Practice dismounting on the off side as well.

What You Need

  • Your horse saddled and bridled.
  • A safe area to work in.
  • Yourself, helmet on.
  • A helper to hold the horse.

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