Quite a few years ago I saw a therapeutic riding student do this modified independent mount and thought it was very clever. I recently found the graphic I drew of it and wanted to share!
If I remember correctly, this particular rider had a disability that weakened the muscles in her back and legs, so she could support herself side to side, but not front to back very well, and had a hard time with the traditional mount. One of her goals was independence, so she and her instructor created this mount that she was able to do by herself, I think with a volunteer holding the horse and the instructor spotting (not shown in the pic below). They used a western saddle to give her seat and balance lots of support.
(Click on the image to see it larger).
First she was able to walk up the mounting block on her own with the support of the saddle.
Then she put her left foot in the stirrup, as usual, holding the horn..
Next she brought her right leg forward, between her left leg and the saddle, while sitting down into the saddle, with the right leg up near or on the pommel, almost like sitting side saddle. (She was rather thin and competent with her body, and therefore able to do this safely.)
Lastly she used one hand at a time to help get her right leg up and over the pommel to the other side, while holding on to the horn with the other hand. I think she had to bring her left leg forward a bit to help with balance.
There you go! This mount modification is obviously not for everyone, just those who can do it safely and with a safe horse who has been desensitized to this mount. But I wanted to share it because it kind of blew my mind to see a new option, and I was impressed with the creativity they found to help her be independent. Now, don’t go out and try a bunch of new mounts, sticking with the usual options is usually best because they’re safe and industry best practices, but this just goes to show that there can be safe out-of-the-box methods in special circumstances.
Have you seen or done any other safe modified mounts and dismounts that are not the norm? Share in the comments!
Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement! If you would like to contribute an activity or article, please contact me here, I would love to hear from you!