After my accident, climbing onto Zelda seemed even more daunting than before. She’s a large girl and it’s a long way up! Even now, I’m not sure that I could get on her from the ground. Freedom is shorter and not so wide. In a pinch, I’ve been able to position him downhill and then get on, although I haven’t tried it for awhile. And it turns out there’s a good reason not to: mounting from the ground puts a lot of pressure on the right side of the saddle and the horse’s withers, potentially causing long term damage (Do you Mount from the Ground?) .
Getting a leg up exerts the least amount of pressure on a horse, according to a study by Dr. Joyce Harmon, but using a mounting block, a log or a large rock can make it easier on both of you.
Zelda is very good about standing next to either a mounting block or my convenient mounting log (shown above). In fact, I’ve trained her to stand next to it while I dismount, too. Because it’s a long way down and when you’re recovering from a broken ankle, the last thing you want to do is hit the ground hard.
The only tricky part is when the chipmonks come shooting out of the hollow core. There must be an extended family of them living there and they don’t take too kindly to having someone stand on top of the family home.