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First the battery fully charged? If not then starter can turn but just not fast enough to drive the gear up to engage the flywheel.
If the starter is turning at full speed then it depends if the starter drive gear is worn out or not. If the gear is okay then starter clutch maybe bad. If the clutch is bad then your better off just replacing the whole starter drive.
Most starters will have a bendix shaft, once the motor starts to rotate the gear follows the bendix thread up into the fly wheel ring gear, so there is either not enough charge in the battary, or the bendix on the starter motor is bad, or the gear itself is bad, or the battary is wired up the wrong way.
Removed starter and tested with new battery and jumper cables...starter worked fine. Replaced battery and cleaned cable attachments...unit started as usual.
When starter throws this would indicate that the interconnect circuits are intact..the engine still would not turn...that leaves the battery, the cable, or a siezed engine. The engine flywheel turned easily...no siezure. That left only the battery and cable. Battery was 3 years old...cable was corroded...bad combination. Battery was replace and corrosion removed from the cable terminals...started first crank.
If you blew a fuse you could have a grounded wire someplace. Check the wiring on the solinoid, on the battery, on the lights and anyplace there could have been a bear spot rubbed. If the flywheel does not engage check the flywheel gear on the end of the started to see if it is chewed and worn. These can be replaced easily,
Sounds like a safety switch concern. Most mowers need the brake or clutch pedal depressed or the park brake engaged for power to go to the starter. Could also be the seat switch. My John Deere LT160 needs the brake pedal depressed or I can lock the park brake on and start it without being in the seat. Hope this gives you some ideas.