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  1. #1
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    Oct. 7, 2008
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    Default Do you know why we mount from the left?

    Just read this study about a scientific basis for handling horses from the left and it reminded me of something...Does anyone know why in fact we have the tradition of mounting from the left? I was told why, but I'll wait to hear if anyone heard the same reason before posting.
    http://www.barnmice.com/forum/topics...-to-mount-from



  2. #2
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    Jun. 12, 2007
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    Default

    I was taught that it was to avoid stabbing yourself on your sword as you got on.



  3. #3
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    Jan. 10, 2008
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    Because most knights/soldiers were right handed and wore their swords on the left, and it's a bit of a pain to swing your leg and a big freakin' sword over the horse at the same time. (:



  4. #4
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    Dec. 26, 2008
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    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Default

    I second the post above. That's what I had always heard.
    Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...



  5. #5
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    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Sanger, TX, USA
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    Default

    I've heard we mount from the left because most warriors carried their swords on their left
    side and it was easier to mount from the side because they didn't have the swing the leg
    with the sword over the horse. Just what I've heard....



  6. #6
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    Ditto all the other replies... cause back in the day it was much easier to swing up onto a horse from the left then the right because most people are right handed, thus the sword or weapon of choice would be on the right side.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
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  7. #7
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    Oct. 7, 2008
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    Default

    I heard the exact same thing, and I was wondering if it was common knowledge among horse people. It seems horses prefer it too!



  8. #8
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    Aug. 25, 1999
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    Holland Township, NJ
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    Default

    DITTO. Nothing to do with how horses see. It's because *most* humans are right handed.

    You can mount a horse from right. They'll look at you squirrly, and I'll guarantee you that you'll start off by puttin the wrong foot in the stirrup, but they could give a rat's butt. Been there, done that on a trail that was a wee bit narrow for mountin on the "correct" side. Ah, Wyoming....



  9. #9
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    Dec. 21, 2005
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    Black Forest, CO
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    Default

    I was taught the sword thing too.

    I always make sure a horse will accept mounting from both sides though.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  10. #10
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    Oct. 7, 2008
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    Default

    Hi Pat, what do think about the left-eye preference theory?
    Interestingly, I think I like to have people on my left. hmm...



  11. #11
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    Sep. 4, 2007
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    Crossville, TN
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    Default

    I was told the sword issue as well



  12. #12
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    Mar. 14, 2007
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    Default

    I don't think I have the flexibility any more to mount my horse from the right!!



  13. #13
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Nokesville, VA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea_W View Post
    I heard the exact same thing, and I was wondering if it was common knowledge among horse people. It seems horses prefer it too!
    A- yes, it is commom knowledge
    B- the only reason horses prefer it because they are used to it. An unbacked horse doesn't care which side you mount from.
    Last edited by Janet; Aug. 10, 2009 at 07:07 AM.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  14. #14
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    Many native indian tribes mounted from the right.
    They didn't have a sword attached to their left sides and many were ambidextrous anyway.

    I think there is handeness in horses, but not so that matters which side you train or get on, really.

    I am left handed, but in school they made us all write with the right hand, so that is what I do.
    Brain plasticity exist in most all species.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 9, 2009
    Location
    SE VA
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    Default

    Yep, in the days of old the soldiers wore their swords on their left leg because they were right handed. So it was easier to mount from the left and also pull the sword out with the right hand.

    Horses will not care which side we mount on, it is just that so many are not taught to be ambidexterous. (sp?) But it's good for us and them to mount from both sides, not just mentally but physically. If you always mount from the left you are not only stretching just your left stirrup leather but also pulling on your horse's withers repeatedly to that side.



  16. #16
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    Sep. 12, 2008
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    Central NY
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    Default

    Funnily enough, American carousels turn counter clockwise because of the brass ring catch & toss of yesteryear. Since most people are righties, the carousel turns that way.

    European carousels turn clockwise so people could mount by the correct side!



  17. #17
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    May. 14, 2009
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    Default

    Yes, mounting with sword
    Another fact that goes with this;

    Mane- trained to lye on the right, so your sword doesn't get caught in it while unsheathing.



  18. #18
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    Mar. 10, 2009
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    Default

    I clearly remember, as a kid, playing some horsey "games" one day in the indoor - one of the adults who boarded there served as "ringmaster" and would call out the instructions and we had to race to complete. One series involved cantering from one end of the ring to the other, dismount, remount on the wrong side. . .

    Some of the ponies did not like it AT ALL when we tried to mount from the right - they pinned their ears and danced away, making that part of the exercise very challenging!



  19. #19
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    May. 12, 2000
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    NE TN, USA
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    Default

    Aren't most trail horses trained to be mounted from either side?

    My last horse was "ambidextrous". The side I mounted from depended on which side of my body ol' Uncle Arther was affecting the least that day.
    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
    Winston Churchill



  20. #20
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    Default

    I think it goes even deeper- back in the middle ages, it was thought that the devil had you, if you were left handed- the French for left is "gauche", the Latin, "sinister", whereas, if you right handed, in French, you are "adroit".

    Knights, who took oaths to God and the King, and all of that happy stuff, were doing Gods work, by slaughtering the peasants...ooopss...by fighting for the good side.

    Hence, no lefties, and the necessity of mounting from the left.
    When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
    www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
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