Dismounting and Untacking Your Horse
You’ve had your very first experience with riding a horse and it was absolutely wonderful. However, even if you’re having the best time of your life, you can’t stay up there forever. Eventually, you will need to get off that horse. Luckily, it is not very hard to dismount a horse. In fact, it is actually quite easy, as long as you don’t just try to jump off.
Before you do anything else, you will need to make sure your horse is no longer moving. After all, you wouldn’t try to step out of a moving car, right? A moving horse is just as dangerous. Once your horse is standing still, it is time to swing out of the saddle. Remember, just because he has stopped, there is no guarantee that your horse won’t start moving again, so be sure you never let go of the reins, even after you are on the ground.
To dismount, you will be reversing your movements as you swung into the saddle. This means that you will start by removing your right foot from the stirrup. Don’t swing your leg over the saddle just yet, though. You will need to shift the reins to your left hand and you will need to grab a handful of your horse’s mane with the same hand, just as you did when you mounted the horse. Grab the front of the horse’s saddle, or pommel, with your right hand.
Next, you will need to swing your right leg over your horse’s back without hitting him with your foot. As you swing your leg over his back, move your right hand to the back of the saddle. Now, you are in the proper position to dismount from your horse, with your stomach resting against his side and your right leg beside your left leg. Slide your left foot out of the stirrup and simply slide down until your feet touch the ground.
Once you are back on the ground, you will need to make your horse comfortable. Begin by swinging the reins over your horse’s head and stepping to his left shoulder. If he is overheated, you will need to walk him around until he is cooled down. Even if he doesn’t seem sweaty, you should walk him around for ten or so minutes just to be safe.
When your horse has cooled down, lead him to the stable and position him between the crossties. Buckle the horse’s halter around his neck and snap the crossties into place so that you can continue to control him once you remove the bridle. Unbuckle the noseband and the throatlatch. Then, slide the bridle from behind your horse’s ears and then wait for him to open his mouth and release the bit. Once the bit is out of his mouth, slide the bridle the rest of the way off. Then, unbuckle the halter and slide it back over his head and buckle it into place properly.
Now, you are ready to take off the saddle. Begin by unbuckling the girth on the left side and then by walking around the horse from the front to unbuckle the right side. Secure the stirrups so that they won’t swing around and then lift the saddle and the saddle pad straight up and over at the same time.
Finally, don’t forget to get out your hoof pick and body brush, just as you did before you tacked your horse up. You may want to give him a well deserved treat, as well.