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Riding Level 3: Tack Check

The first item in the Riding 3 assessment is:

1. Mount independently. Adjust girth while mounted.

We assume you learned to mount in Riding 1, and improved on it for Riding 2.  At this level we expect you to be smoother and more organized.  It doesn’t matter whether you use a block or mount from the ground, and in fact the former is kinder to your horse.  You will get better marks by mounting from the block smoothly than by dragging the saddle or struggling to mount from the ground.  Remember, before you mount, to check your tack once more for fit and safety.

Horse Riding Safety Check

Thelwell4It may be comical when Thelwell draws it, but it’s no laughing matter to have your saddle slip when you are riding.  Aside from checking your girth from the ground, you may find you need to tighten it once you are mounted, and again partway through your ride.  As a horse exercises the girth tends to loosen, and it’s always good to check it from the saddle before you do any jumping or speed work.

To tighten your girth from the saddle:

  1. Keep your foot in the stirrup and slide your leg and stirrup in front of the saddle.
  2. Reach under the saddle flap to find the billet straps by feel. It’s dangerous to try and do this by looking, as you could overbalance and fall.
  3. Pull upward on the billets, one at a time, using feel to check that they are even.
  4. Put your leg and stirrup back in place.

You can tighten the girth on either side, but if your girth is only elasticated on the left it will be easier to do on that side.

This video’s a bit long and wordy, but does show adjusting stirrups as well as girth from horseback.

How to Safely Adjust Stirrups and Girth While Mounted in English Tack

Mounted Combat Playday

Tracey & Jack showing elegant stick-pegging formOur first Mounted Combat playday is coming up on February 1st, and we hope many of you will come out to ride, volunteer or just watch the fun.  Spectators welcome! Volunteers on the ground are always needed, and this is a good way to get involved in the playdays if you’re not yet qualified to take part.  Volunteer for a playday and you will earn a credit to ride for free in the next one.  To ride in the games you must have your Riding Level 1 or equivalent.  For Mounted Archery you also need to have taken the Beginner Horseback Archery course, and to take part in Mounted Sparring you need to have your Green Spur.

Mounted Combat Playday
Sunday 1 February, 1pm – 4pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
$15 + $15 for use of school horse; spectators free!

Upcoming Courses

Mounted Combat WorkshopIntro to Mounted Combat
Sunday 1 February, 10am – 1pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
$149 + gst

Mounted Combat Skills
Saturdays 7 – 28 Feb, 3:00 – 4:30pm
Academie Duello, 412 W Hastings St, Vancouver
$120 + gst

Beginner Riding & Horsemanship
Sundays 8 Feb – 15 March, 10am – noon
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
$300 + gst

Level 2 Riding & Horsemanshipleading in hand
Sundays 8 Feb – 15 March, 10am – noon
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
$300 + gst

Horsemanship Level 3 or 4
Sundays 8 Feb – 15 March, noon – 1pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
$130 + gst

Riding Level 3+
Sundays 8 Feb – 15 March, 1:30 – 2:30pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
$200 + gst

Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.