You're most vulnerable to injury when dismounting and mounting, because if the horse moves,
you're not securely in the saddle.  To reduce your vulnerability, avoid having one foot in the stirrup,
just in case the horse moves.  That's why the following dismounting method is the safest:

You're on track if you can:
Comfortably lead a horse from barn to ring.
Gracefully mount (well, let's just say if you can get on the horse).
Keep your horse away from other horses.
Walk in a straight line with reasonably correct riding position.
Implement the progression of aids.
Turn the horse to the left and right.
Turn a complete circle.
Laugh and have a great time!
Dismounting a Horse
  1. Gather both reins and some mane in your left hand.
  2. Take both feet out of the stirrups.
  3. With both hands on the front of the saddle (the pommel), start to swing your right leg back
    and over the cantle.  As your right leg comes over your horse's rump, take the weight into
    both arms.
  4. After you right leg comes over, it should meet the left leg, and you should land gently on your
    toes, with your knees flexed.
Woodland Horse Center
16301 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20905
301-421-9156          fax: 301-421-9049