At any barn, on any horse, there are 4 important things to check before you mount up.
1. The girth
Check that the girth is snug and buckled properly. Loose girths allow saddles to slip, which can be very dangerous.
2. The stirrup leathers
In addition to making them the correct length for your leg, be sure to check the leather for any signs of weakness. Cracking and thinning of the leather where your iron hangs is a major red flag.
3. Your horse’s demeanor
Is your mount relaxed? Alert? Cranky? Sassy? Nervous? Antsy? Be sure to check in with your partner before getting on.
4. Your own energy
Are YOU relaxed, alert, cranky, etc? Don’t bring a negative attitude into the saddle. Take a deep breath: inhale the scent of horses, exhale any stress, and be conscious of the energy you bring to the ride.
Make it a habit to check all 4 items each time you are at the mounting block, to help ensure a safe and fun ride for both you and your horse.