Mounting Outside the Ring
At this stage your instructor probably will continue to have you mount in the
ring, and rightfully so.  After all, you haven't ridden a horse outside the ring
yet and haven't faced all those outside influences.
When the time comes for you to mount outside the ring, however, remember
that you won't have nice, soft ring dirt underneath you.  In a field, select the
softest spot or the place least likely to cause damage if you hit the ground.  
Avoid rocky areas (or, for that matter, gravel driveways and parking lots).  
Remember, mounting and dismounting leave you the most vulnerable to

Here are some other tips tor mounting outside of
a ring:
1) Point your horse away from the barn.  This reduce the pull of the barn.  
Your horse will be more likely to stand still while you mount  him.
2) Always mount on the uphill side.  Why make a horse taller and            
harder to mount than he already is?
3) Keep you horse's head up.  A field is likely to have grass, which he         
will want to eat.
4) Check the girth!

Time to Enjoy

Budget plenty of time for your lessons.  Arrive early and watch the more
advanced students ride.  If you're taking group lessons, get to know your
classmates.  Ask an instructor if you can help groom a horse, but explain
that you're a novice and will need supervision and instruction.  You can
learn a lot just by hanging around.  

Learn, relax, and enjoy the barn atmosphere.

This may be the best advice I've given you yet.


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Mike Smith's
40 years of
experience        work for

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Woodland Horse Center
16301 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20905
301-421-9156          fax: 301-421-9049