Be sure you have a solid foundation of groundwork on your horse before you ever swing into the saddle for that first ride. Do your groundwork thoroughly. Do not mount your horse if his feet are moving. Make him yield his hindquarters until his feet stop moving, and he stands still. When you mount, stand at the front of his shoulder. Place your left hand holding the rein on the horse’s neck, and make sure your horse’s left eye is looking at you. With your right hand, twist the stirrup toward you. Put your toe in the stirrup and twist around until you look toward the front of your horse. Stand straight, distribute your weight evenly and get on the horse. When you dismount, place your left hand on the horse’s neck. Swing your right leg over the horse until you stand beside him in the same position you had when you mounted.
– Chris Cox