Which do you prefer? Or do you use both and decide depending on the situation?
I went to my first clinic last night (after my first race two weeks ago) so I'm pretty new to it. The clinic was great, an instructor pulled aside the beginners and our small group spent like 40 minutes going over dismounts, remounts, barriers, shouldering etc all the technical aspects that you don't use in regular road riding. I got some great hints and tricks I wouldn't have learned on my own or by watching youtube videos.
I guess the step through has fallen into disfavor among the elites, but our instructor, an experienced veteran, uses both, depending on the situation. The step through does seem like a smooth and elegant method to hurdle a barrier on flat ground went you want to approach and complete it at maximum speed and aren't too crowded. The way he did it there was very little change in his pace as he completed the maneuver. Anyways it was fun to practice it.
He said he'll use the cowboy when dismounting at the base of a run-up or a stretch of boggy mud or sand when you have to shoulder the bike and run and often there's a bottleneck of other riders.
Anyways I'm curious.