Height vs. Gravity

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I’ve noted that as I get older the horses seem to be getting shorter and the mounting blocks taller. A couple decades ago I had a 17.2-hand mare and bought a two-step block for shows so I could get on when she was braided and thus didn’t have a handhold. I segued to a 16.2-hand gelding and now have a 16-hand mare and a pretty blue three-step block.

Noah isn’t very tall, but neither is Pam, so the mounting block comes in handy.

Noah isn’t very tall, but neither is Pam, so the mounting block comes in handy.

I tell people that I use the block to save my mare’s back. I am also adamant about teaching a horse to STAND at the block and have no patience for those who let their horses drift off from the block or prefer to vault onto a moving target. It’s basic safety.

I have a beautiful, tall, thin friend around my vintage who has proclaimed that she will give up riding if she is no longer able to mount from the ground. The operative word here is “able.” Just because you can mount from the ground (and might need to in a pinch out on the trails) doesn’t mean you should mount from the ground. And, that’s the same for the 6-foot guy getting on a 15-hand Quarter Horse as it is for the 5’3” woman scaling the Mt. Everest of a warmblood.

My thin friend was finally dragged over to the mounting block by her vet and instructed to stand up there while he brought over her bareback horse. She was told to look down on her horse and was shocked to see the difference in the horse’s muscling. Ever since, she’s swallowed her pride and mounted from a block like the rest of us.

So, when I tell people that I really am using the block to help preserve my horse’s muscle alignment, I am not telling a complete fib. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. The fact that I couldn’t get up there on my own unless I had a block, or I had some brave strong person throwing me up, isn’t relevant.

I keep saying my someday horse is going to be a Fjord. My concern is that he won’t have a real mane for me to defy gravity, and I have yet to see a four-step mounting block.

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