Mounting: a topic I have very pointedly avoided for some time for one very specific reason... I suck at it. Always have. It doesn't matter what I have to my advantage- the upside of a hill, a particularly short pony, a long stirrup or extra tight girth... It doesn't matter if I stand in front, side or behind. This white girl just plain and simply cannot jump. And you know what? I'm not cool with that fact.While there are many things I'll unabashedly admit to sucking at.... like being a slow runner.... or that I cant pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time... or how sometimes when I throw a ball to the left, it goes right... But not being able to mount in one effortless, fluid and graceful motion really burns my ass! And it is not for lack of trying. I've watched with envy those cowgirls and tried to mimic their methods to no avail. Let's take a look at the most common schools of thought...
From the Front- stand in front of the saddle facing the rear. Take the rein and a chunk of the horses mane in your left hand. Twist stirrup around with your right and place foot in. Hop with your standing leg as you jump, twist, throw a leg over and settle in to the saddle facing the right direction. (this is the way I was first taught).
The Cowgirl Way. Grab the horn with your left hand and the cantle with your right. Place your left foot in the stirrup and then, while hoisting yourself up with the help of your hands, swing our leg over and swivel to face forward.
The SUPER Cool Cowgirl (or Stripper) Way- Put your foot gingerly into the stirrup without touching the saddle and (no matter how tall the horse) make it look effortless.... as if you were as flexible as a prepubescent teenage cheerleader doing a kick split... then in one fluid motion, hoist yourself up (again, be sure to make this look as easy as a *insert adjective that doest make me sound like a bitter chubby wannabe with a serious complex about skinny, flexible and athletic cowgirls*), then, using the horn like a slick stripper pole, swing yourself around (slow-motion hair toss optional) and settle into the saddle as light as feather on a puff of wind.
The SUPER Cool Cowboy Way- Walk towards your horse from the rear. As you approach the saddle, without breaking stride, jump in the air, snag the stirrup in your right foot, the horn with your right hand (pause here to admire the flexed and sinewy muscled forearms of said super cool cowboy) and in one fluid motion swing your leg over and settle your fine denim clad ass in to the saddle in less time than it takes to say thank you ma'am.
For the record I have tried all of the above methods. Even the Super Cool ones. Sometimes I give myself a little pep talk before hand... like "Okay Chelsi, let's get this done... you can do it!" or (see inspirational baby below)... No matter which way I've set up to mount the end result is the same- Foot in stirrup, hands on saddle, standing foot hops, jumps and then.... eghch.. hughmph.... eeeeee.... eeh, eh, e.... *very bad word*.... humph... and I'm up. I then settle lightly in to saddle. No matter how hard I have to work to get up there I never, ever, flop.... which is a minor consideration really when you consider the time I spend hauling myself up but I have to salvage what little self respect I can.
There is no happy ending to this story. I didnt write this to share some magic method or quick fix...nor did I discover some inspirational guidance that helped me accept myself for the "failure to launch" cowgirl I am.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Bitter Chubby Wannabe with a Serious Complex about Skinny, Flexible and Athletic Cowgirls