Reasons

When it comes to horses, in any discipline, we all have our way of doing things. A lot of the things we do are because someone else told us to do it THAT way. Think about it. Who up and decided that we should always lead, saddle and mount from the left side of the horse? If I had to guess, it was a right handed person! If you are leading on the left side of the horse, your right arm is your strongest, so that would make it easier to control the horse. Makes sense. Saddling from the right side is a different perspective . Reflect back to when men carried swords. They carried them on the left side to make them easy to draw from the scabbard once mounted. Can you imagine swinging your leg over a horse that had a steel sword strapped to it? Makes sense for back in the day!

So now I wonder why we mount from the left in modern day. It’s the side that the latigo and girth meet up to tighten a western saddle. English saddles, it’s the side the elastic straps are located (on my English saddle) so I assume it’s easier to re-adjust when you put your foot in the stirrup to get one and feel that your saddle is loose. Makes sense!

With all this being said, why do we do it every single time? Horses are used to routine. Their brains prefer this, that and there. I know mine do! However, I have been in many situations where I had to mount or dismount on the right side. I’m so glad that we had already worked on that move because I was in a bad bind! I highly recommend that you practice mounting, saddling and leading your horse from both sides. One day you will be in a situation that you have no other choice. We do things out of habit and perhaps there was a real strong reason for it, but I don’t often carry my sword anymore!

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