Going Saddle-Free: How to Mount a Horse Without a Saddle

Going Saddle-Free: How to Mount a Horse Without a Saddle?

Hey there! Jack here. So, I’ve been thinking about trying out bareback riding, but I’m a little nervous about how to actually mount the horse without a saddle to hold onto.

I mean, I’ve been riding for years with a saddle, so it feels a little weird to just throw myself on top of a horse without any support.

But, I’ve done some research and have come up with a few tips for how to mount a horse without a saddle.

Find a Good Spot to Stand

The first step in mounting a horse without a saddle is to find a good spot to stand. You’ll want to stand on the horse’s left side, facing their shoulder.

Make sure that you’re close enough to the horse so that you can reach their back, but not so close that you’re in danger of being kicked.

Use Your Hands to Help Balance

Once you’re standing in the right spot, use your hands to help balance yourself as you mount the horse. You can grab onto the horse’s mane or withers (the ridge between their shoulder blades) to help pull yourself up.

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Use Your Feet to Help Boost Yourself Up

As you lift yourself up, use your feet to help boost yourself onto the horse’s back. Place your left foot on the horse’s left shoulder and your right foot on the horse’s right hip.

Then, push off with your feet and swing your right leg over the horse’s back to land in the center of their back.

Communicate with Your Horse

Before you even attempt to mount your horse, it’s important to communicate with them and make sure that they are willing to accept you on their back.

You can do this by talking to your horse in a calm, reassuring tone and patting their neck or shoulder. This will help your horse understand that you are approaching them in a friendly manner and will help them feel more at ease.

Use a Leading Rein to Help Mount

If you’re still having trouble mounting your horse, you can try using a leading rein to help. A leading rein is a long rope that is attached to your horse’s halter and is used to help guide them.

To use a leading rein to mount your horse, stand on the horse’s left side and hold the reins in your left hand.

Then, lift your right hand and tap your horse on the neck to signal that you want them to move their head to the left. As your horse moves their head, use your left hand to guide their head towards their shoulder. This will help create an opening for you to mount the horse.

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Ride Without Stirrups

If you’re planning on riding without a saddle, it’s important to remember that you won’t have stirrups to hold onto.

This means that you’ll need to use your core muscles to help maintain your balance while riding. To do this, sit up straight in the saddle and engage your abdominal muscles. This will help you stay centered and balanced while riding.

Ride at a Walk or Trot

When you’re first starting out with bareback riding, it’s a good idea to stick to slower gaits like the walk or trot.

These slower gaits will give you more time to adjust to the movement of the horse and will help you maintain your balance. As you become more comfortable riding without a saddle, you can gradually increase your speed and try out other gaits.


Can I use a mounting block to help me mount a horse without a saddle?

Yes, you can definitely use a mounting block to help you mount a horse without a saddle. A mounting block is a small platform that you can stand on to help give you a little extra height as you mount the horse.

This can be especially helpful if you’re shorter or if the horse you’re riding is particularly tall.

What if my horse moves while I’m trying to mount?

If your horse starts to move while you’re trying to mount, it’s important to stay calm and try to keep your balance.

If you feel like you’re going to fall, it’s okay to let go and step back to the ground. You can then try again once you’ve regained your balance.

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Is bareback riding more dangerous than riding with a saddle?

Bareback riding can be more dangerous than riding with a saddle, especially if you’re not used to it. Without the support of a saddle, you’ll have to rely more on your own balance and core strength to stay in the saddle

. However, with practice, you can become a skilled bareback rider and enjoy the feeling of being more connected to your horse.

What if I don’t have a leading rein?

If you don’t have a leading rein, you can try using a lunge line or a long lead rope instead.

These can be used in a similar manner to a leading rein to help guide your horse and create an opening for you to mount.

You can also try using a mounting block or a step stool to help give you a little extra height as you mount.

“Conclusion: Embrace the Freedom of Bareback Riding”

In conclusion, bareback riding can be a fun and exhilarating way to experience the freedom and connection with your horse.

While it may be a little intimidating at first, with practice and patience, you can become a skilled bareback rider.

Just remember to communicate with your horse, use a leading rein if necessary, ride without stirrups, and start at a slower gait.

Embrace the freedom of bareback riding and have fun!


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