Remember back to when you first learned to ride. Were you taught to mount from the left? Do you know why?
Mounting a horse from the left is a long-standing tradition rooted in our history of war and the use of horses in combat. Mounted soldiers would wear swords on their left side, so in order to protect their horses’ backs, they would mount from the left.
Did you know that? I just learned it myself! But we’re not going to war, we’re trail riding!
Now, if you’ve been trail riding for a while, you’ve no doubt come across obstacles where you have had to get off of your horse and perhaps come into a situation where mounting your horse from the left was not an attractive option (especially when there’s a cliff, mud, brush or other hazard preventing you).
In addition to allowing your horse to be more accommodating to your mounting from the opposite side, alternating sides also enhances your horse’s ability to build muscle more equally across his/her spine.
If you have not ever mounted your horse from the right, getting you and your horse used to the idea before finding yourself in an awkward situation would be beneficial to both of you. Think about it…if you’re right handed, have you ever tried to brush your teeth with your left? Of course, it’s possible, but it’s awkward, not nearly as effective and I usually end up with toothpaste on my hand (looking more like a rabid dog than a person brushing their teeth).
So, start making it a habit of switching sides when mounting. You’ll both be happier when you have to mount near a trail hazard and it won’t matter which side it’s on!
Do you have any stories you could share about mounting adventures?
Courtesy of The Winged Pony of Wisdom