How Were You Taught to Take Your Left Foot Out of the Stirrup While Dismounting?

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I dismount with a mounting block, so left foot stays in. Right leg comes over and steps down first. Just like mounting only in reverse.

—Kristi Boyd

Interesting! My whole life I’ve left my left foot in the stirrup until my right foot swings around and then kick my left foot out and drop down. But my weight is very much leaning against the horse. I started riding western as a kid, so maybe that’s why. Oddly, I also feel MORE secure that way since I can swing back ON easily if something adverse happens. But I think some of that reaction comes from not riding in an arena much as a kid.

—Lisa Cowan

Both feet out of stirrups swing right leg over to dismount. Personally, I feel very unsafe if I leave my foot in the stirrup to dismount.

—Jennifer Wilda

I take both feet out and swing a leg over. I don’t leave my left foot in the stirrup because (1) you’re in a position that if something happened you might have an unpleasant dismount and (2) I feel it’s kinder for the horse’s back.

—Sarah Margaret Hughes Lacy

Both feet out before dismounting. It causes the least stress/torque on the horse’s back, and you’re less likely to get hung up if the horse spooks/moves while dismounting.

—Christie Davis

How I was taught vs how I do it are two different things. Taught both feet out, swing off. But after breaking my left hip and tearing up my left knee at 18, I always leave that foot in the stirrup, clear my right leg, and once they’re both on the same side of the horse, I’ll drop the stirrup and slide off.

—Rachael Landman

At 73, I have to leave my left foot in the stirrup to swing my right foot. I make sure my horses are good about standing still
for my long process!  

—Joan Westaway Alberti

I dismount on the right to keep things even since I usually mount on the left.

—Piper Klemm

I do leave the left foot in while swinging the right leg over. I would prefer not to for safety reasons, but after a few injuries? It’s simply what is best on my body.

—Margaret Cluff

*This story was originally published in the July 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!

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