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Crazy Horse Girl

Gotta comment on this one. There are three ways to dismount (at least that I know of). The safest is the way you describe, which is the taking feet out of both stirrups and vaulting off. This is the way I used to do it. The logic behind it is that if you leave one foot in the left stirrup and your horse moves off while you do so, you could lose your balance and get dragged.

The other way is to kick them free and slide off. Sort of a slower version of the above.

Lastly, is the way that Betty does it. Which is actually the way I do it now. If you watch Medal finals, you'll see that most of them actually do this. It is called 'stepping off'. But the process is very quick and not as deliberate as Betty does it. As soon as the right leg has been kicked free of the stirrup, you are supposed to balance your left hand on the withers, right hand on the seat and immediately take the left foot out and hop down. You are almost taking the left foot out as soon the right has cleared the rump.

I'll admit my reason for switching from the vault to the "modified step off" is because I'm just vain enough about my saddle. It is french calf and if I vault, the pommel gets torn up. It happens during that lean forward and swing portion of the act. When I step off now, I stay clear of the pommel, rest my hand on the right most side of the seat where my right thigh nearly lays then I vault away. Keeping my hand on the right side keeps my weight distributed across the horse's back well enough that I do not torque the horse's back while just one foot is in the stirrup.

Yes, I'm anal. :)

dr aletta

Hi, Crazy Horse Girl!

The thing is, Betty puts her right foot completely on the ground before taking her left out of the iron. Is that a true stepping off dismount?

I've seen what you're describing and it looks really pretty. Probably my English instructors thought the safest method was the best way to go for me. Plus stepping off clearly takes some grace and coordination which I do not claim.

Thanks for taking the time to explain the different dismounts. Your blog is beautiful, I love the photos. And Happy Belated Birthday!

Crazy Horse Girl

Oh my! Well thank you for the compliment on my blog and pix! Always nice to hear from another blogger.

No, you are right. It sounds to me like Betty is using the 1970's Hollywood Western Dismount. The high pitched trill of a hawk can sometimes be heard during this dismount, along with a possible strum of a guitar. (kidding of course)

Yeah, I know the dismount you are talking about. It hurts me to think about it.

dr aletta

Yes, definitively you got the cinematic reference down pat. Now we can both feel smug :-)

I hope you got out today to ride. Around where I live it was just about perfect fall riding weather. I really didn't want to come in.

Crazy Horse Girl

Yesterday was a little poopy here. Think London fog. But I'll ride tonite. I confess to having access to three indoor arenas! The one tonight is not far from where Jackie (above) kept a farm!

Sunday was our good day - a really stellar day and on that day, I did get to enjoy the countryside by horseback. Man, I really, really love that.

Crazy Horse Girl

Hey there! I just popped in to see what's going on on your blog and saw your main page! You crack me up! I must reciprocate! Will work it in some how....

Crazy Horse Girl

dr aletta

Yeay! Nice to hear from you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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