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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Ode to a Garbage Can

Yep.  That title just happened.  Welcome to my classy corner of the internet.


I just wanted to give a little update on my mounting block issues with Apollo.  If you missed my previous posts I'll give you the basics... my old man gelding dumped me twice in the summer after bolting at the mounting block and I have always been sort of fearful at the mounting block.




I think I tried all the suggestions left in the comments from this post.  (thank you thank you thank you)

The grab strap just didn't seem to work for me.  I felt almost more nervous because I was overthinking where my hands were *womp womp*

But I did have a lot of success with a taller mounting block.


Enter the love of my life...




I couldn't actually find a taller mounting block at any of the local tack shops but I did find this empty garbage can at the back of the barn.  I don't think I could use it outside but if I push it down into the sand footing in the indoor arena it's very secure.  I can hop onto Apollo without putting a foot in the stirrup.  Since my steed is a bit roly poly right now that is super helpful with saddle slipping too (when he's rounder it's easier to pull to one side when mounting, no matter how tight my girth is).

So the good news is that I have been feeling great about mounting/riding Apollo lately.  He's been a little stiffer (weather-related, extra chub doesn't help) so I know the exercise is good for him.


Wish the grass was still green!



My time spent standing on the "mounting block" (or handsome garbage can, if you will) has decreased significantly too.  The first time I stood up there shaking for about 5 minutes before I got on.  The next time I shook for about 3 minutes.  Then 2 minutes.  Then I stopped shaking but still made Apollo wait patiently for a minute or two.  Now I hop up after about 30 seconds tops.  Thanks garbage can!


So mostly wins in the mounting block front, woohoo! :)


There was a bit a fail though that I have to confess.  Coach D was really intent on getting me to take Apollo to a clinic last weekend.  I could have probably scraped together the money and figured out the trailer ride.  But I was kind of freaked out about mounting at the new venue.  Here is my brain trying to work on the logistics:

 
Could I bring my garbage can?  

Should I spray paint it black so it looks more legit?  

Who would hold my horse if I couldn't bring it?  

Should I ask my barn owner's permission? Should I buy it from them? (how weird of would that conversation be)

Should I do some aftermarket mods to the garbage can to make it heavier so I can use it outside?



HALP



I decided that I wasn't ready to go to a clinic.  And honestly now I'm sort of kicking myself about it.


Anyway, mostly happy news to report!  I welcome suggestions for taking my new "mounting system" on the road...   :S


33 comments:

  1. My question is how do you get up on that thing? It's giant! Also, did you check Irvine's? That's where my friend got her ultra tall mounting block for sidesaddle (sidesaddle require you to mount without putting your foot in the stirrup as well)

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    1. Irvines is a great idea! Don't know why I didn't think of that haha. Thanks!! :)

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  2. That thing is giant! I'm glad that you are making progress. Also I applaud your ingenuity!

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    1. It is quite tall yeah! We're muddling through our mounting issues haha :)

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  3. Can you mount off the tailgate of the truck? That is what I always end up doing because I never remember to bring a mounting block!

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    1. That's genius! I do have a truck to practice with too :)

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  4. I'm glad you've got the mounting thing under control at home.

    I totally understand the obsession about mounting at a new place and then the associated embarrassment from being so fixated with a block! It happens to me anytime I play western pony, because while it seems like everyone else in the western world can swing on from the ground, I am short and inflexible and I cannot. There was one cowboy challenge clinic where I had to stand on a practice roping cow to get on and felt mortified haha! That's a big reason why I spent a stupid amount of money on buying my own mounting block that I could bring with me. I also get terrified of falling off on trail rides in case I can't get back on again.

    I bought my three step mounting block from Lammles. It's not as tall as your garbage can but a lot better than the little ones. It's light enough to transport but heavy and solid enough to feel nice and stable. (It also has no holes that a horse can get a foot into because that concept terrifies me) I know Lammles doesn't always have them in store, but since I got mine from there, presumably it is in their system and they could order it for you if you wanted. Otherwise I would second the idea of using some part of your truck or trailer to stand on (trailer wheel wells?). You could also bring your garbage can and just use it on the side of your trailer where it would be hidden from view and you wouldn't need to defend your mounting block appearance.

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    1. I'm tall and I can't swing up from the ground either! So don't feel too bad about that. I"ll have to check out lamlees, I tried three tack shops but none of them had anything taller than the standard one. :)

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  5. I think that you were wise to not go to the clinic. The mounting block/garbage can is new to you and you are still figuring it out.

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    1. Thanks Teresa :) I was feeling sort of wimpy about it.

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  6. No offense, but do you plan to transition back to a normal mounting block once you've mastered the garbage can? I don't know that I would advise using the garbage can long-term...you're going to have to mount from something else at some point down the road, right? If for no other reason than the garbage can won't be as easy to bring with you whenever you travel. Also, maybe you could work with a trainer(s) to train Apollo to stand completely still at the mounting block? Just some food for thought.

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    1. Oh yeah, I do intend to eventually return to the normal mounting block. I'm using that with my other two horses right now. Apollo is totally fine about mounting now, it's just a lingering anxiety issue for me.

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  7. As a shorty, I've had lots of success using fences, tailgates, and trailers. We have a giant mounting block here, but it appears to be homemade. That being said, it's pretty lightweight, could you bribe someone to build you one? Also wanted to add you're not alone, pretty much every barn I've ridden at there is at least one other person needing a taller than average mounting block for whatever reason!

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    1. I think I might make my retired father build one for me mwhahah! Good idea :)

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  8. I'm glad you found something to mount with. I have done similar things when I need to get on bareback as I cannot jump at all with my back injury. We even went to far as to build a taller wood mounting block for one of the arenas. At my office, I bought a folding step stool for employees to use when they need to write on high white boards. It would totally fit in a trailer and be more convenient than the trash can.

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    1. Yeah it's a good temporary fix for sure! I think a tall-ish folding step stool will be just the ticket if we have to travel anywhere soon :)

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  9. The garbage can is a good idea and seems to work. I personally like the plastic/rubber four step mounting block we have for the taller horses. You can find them online. Might be worth the price to take it to shows with you.

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    1. I haven't looked much online, but that's a good idea. I'll have to measure my beloved garbage can and see if I can find something close to the same height haha :)

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  10. I'm glad I'm not the other one who feels weird about mounting sometimes.... it's that split second between being securly on the mounting block & being securly on the horse that freaks me out O.O

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  11. I'm glad I'm not the other one who feels weird about mounting sometimes.... it's that split second between being securly on the mounting block & being securly on the horse that freaks me out O.O

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    1. Yes I hate that feeling! It's so strange for me because my young horses are fine and I trust them... just can't quite get over my fears about mounting Apollo after the recent incidents :(

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  12. I'm so glad that you've found a method that works for you, but seriously I kinda wish that the garbage-can-purchasing conversation had happened. :P Also, we don't use a mounting block at all at our barn - we have a collapsible stepladder that works really well for even the tallest horses. Might be something to try! I think you can get them pretty inexpensively!

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    1. They already think I'm pretty odd so it would add a whole new layer to that hahah!! :)
      A stepladder would work great, and would transport easily too!

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  13. Aww! I feel for you! This garbage can is good for you personally right now. Use it and get your confidence back up! But it sure would be ideal if Apollo could learn to be safe mounting any way - ground, stirrup, bareback, whatever! I wonder if the trainer who worked on Henry would have good ideas to work on with Apollo with this? I think he had a more natural training approach(?) and probably has tons of great ideas to fix this! Be safe!

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    1. Yeah I am definitely working on my confidence and will eventually transition to a more normal mounting situation. To be honest Apollo is 100% fine at the mounting block (cough cough garbage can haha) right now. It's mostly an anxiety issue for me at this point. But yeah I do think RK would be a huge help for us if we struggle again as we transition to using other more normal items for mounting :)

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  14. I wonder if you could find a super tall mounting block online or something...

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    1. I'm starting my online hunt now :)

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  15. So creative! I'm glad that's working for you! But like... how do you get up on the trash can?! It looks really tall!
    I totally have a bizarre story to share about mounting. A few weeks ago, I was getting on Romey (who's really short, we think about 15.1 or 15.2). Anyway, I put my foot in the stirrup to get on and as I was stepping up on him, he swished his tail and it GOT STUCK ON MY SPUR! I'm not even kidding. I was just hanging there, unable to swing my leg over because it was attached to his tail. I also couldn't step back down to the mounting block because my foot was ATTACHED TO HIS TAIL... Seriously! Stuck to his tail. Eventually, I kicked it free, and thanked my race horse for being so good about mounting. He just stood there despite my hanging off his side pulling his tail. He might be an ass hat much of the time, but he earned major treats with dinner for that episode.

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    1. I have such a random problem solving approach haha...but garbage can is doing the trick! It's super tall, I bet it's at least two and a half feet tall. That sounds like a nightmare about the tail being caught in your spur - eek! Glad your pony is so chill :)

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  16. You should just move to my barn - we have size giant mounting blocks inside and out, perfect for my new uber tall horse lol

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    1. Ok - I'm coming! Not too far from Canada right... :P

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