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Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172

A question about horses?

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First let me say, as a horseman, I am  a greenhorn.  But I have an inherited interest and appreciation of these

wonderful animals. My paternal Grandfather and maternal Grandfather, having grown up with horses as the main 

method of transportation, gave me that. They both possessed a keen eye for horseflesh. 

 

My question however, is "Why do riders almost always mount from the left side?" I sometimes see exceptions to that in Hollywood 

films, but otherwise, not so much.  I said I was a greenhorn. 

 

Move over Alpo.  I got questions too.  :D

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Posted (edited)

The left side on a horse is the "hear" side, and the right side is called the "off" side. Why mount from the left? Just don't know, BUT all my horses could be mounted from the near or off sides, and dismounted from either side also. Comes in handy at times. ALL of the ranch horses I've ridden could be mounted and dismounted from either side.

I think it might go back to soldiers carried their swords on the left side and mounting from that side made it easier to not get tangled up.

Just a wild A$$ guess....

Oh Badger, y'all have a long way to go before ya come close to Alpo.:rolleyes:

Edited by Tascosa, SASS# 24838
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In the US one of the historical reasons MIGHT be how Cavalry officers wore their swords. Most being right handed, the sword was on their left.. Imagine trying to mount a horse while trying to swing your leg and sword over a saddle?

 

I grew up with horses. I was taught to mount from the left. Not sure if I was ever told why. I just did it. Plus my rope was always on the right side and that might have gotten in the way.

 

This said, I have found occasion to mount from the right. Usually it has to do with landscape contours in rough terrain and the direction the horse is facing. 

 

Once I had to do it in a corral real quickly to avoid be run over by a couple other angry critters headed my way. :o

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tascosa, SASS# 24838 said:

The left side on a horse is the "hear" side, and the right side is called the "off" side. Why mount from the left? Just don't know, BUT all my horses could be mounted from the near or off sides, and dismounted from either side also. Comes in handy at times. ALL of the ranch horses I've ridden could be mounted and dismounted from either side.

I think it might go back to soldiers carried their swords on the left side and mounting from that side made it easier to not get tangled up.

Just a wild A$$ guess....

Oh Badger, y'all have a long way to go before ya come close to Alpo.:rolleyes:

Thanks Tascosa, your reply makes sense to me.  Thank you for taking the time.  

 

55 minutes ago, Dantankerous said:

:lol:In the US one of the historical reasons MIGHT be how Cavalry officers wore their swords. Most being right handed, the sword was on their left.. Imagine trying to mount a horse while trying to swing your leg and sword over a saddle?

 

I grew up with horses. I was taught to mount from the left. Not sure if I was ever told why. I just did it. Plus my rope was always on the right side and that might have gotten in the way.

 

This said, I have found occasion to mount from the right. Usually it has to do with landscape contours in rough terrain and the direction the horse is facing. 

 

Once I had to do it in a corral real quickly to avoid be run over by a couple other angry critters headed my way. :o

 

 

Thank you also, Dantankerous. Now I feel smart. Well, ok just a little bit. 

 

I know Alpo has a long lead on he. I would never presume to try to usurp his title. :)

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1 hour ago, Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172 said:

First let me say, as a horseman, I am  a greenhorn.  But I have an inherited interest and appreciation of these

wonderful animals. My paternal Grandfather and maternal Grandfather, having grown up with horses as the main 

method of transportation, gave me that. They both possessed a keen eye for horseflesh. 

 

My question however, is "Why do riders almost always mount from the left side?" I sometimes see exceptions to that in Hollywood 

films, but otherwise, not so much.  I said I was a greenhorn. 

 

Move over Alpo.  I got questions too.  :D

 

There is no right or wrong side per say.

 

Although saddles and scabbards are generally set up for a left side mount. My ray holes saddle has a latigo strap holder for my excess strap after cinching up the horse on the left side. The rope strap is made to hold the coil on the right side of the pommel so yer not trying to mount over it.

 

But as Dantankerous stated, in a pinch you mount from whatever side gives you the high ground for the sake of expediency.

 

Riding bareback? You mount from wherever. Left, right, rump. Like an Indian...

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I think it has a lot to do with how right handed people feel.

 

Forget the horse. Go get a bicycle. Stand next to it holding on to the handlebars. Which side did you almost instinctively end up standing on? Probably the left. Swing your right leg over. It feels right doesn't it? Now go around to the other side of the bike. Standing on the right side holding the handlebars feels awkward, doesn't it? Now swing your leg over. That really felt awkward didn't it?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Alpo said:

I think it has a lot to do with how right handed people feel.

 

Forget the horse. Go get a bicycle. Stand next to it holding on to the handlebars. Which side did you almost instinctively end up standing on? Probably the left. Swing your right leg over. It feels right doesn't it? Now go around to the other side of the bike. Standing on the right side holding the handlebars feels awkward, doesn't it? Now swing your leg over. That really felt awkward didn't it?

 

 

 

Never thought of it thataway. Good point... just "feels" right. Motorcycle riders follow suite.

 

 

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The reason I mounted my bicycle from the left was because the kickstand was on the left side same with the motorcycles I had

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So motorcycles followed suit from the age of the horse.

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Raspberry 2.jpg

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It started when people carried swords.  To mount a horse with a sword, you must mount from the horse's left side.  Since, then, horsemen and horsewomen have carried on the tradition without knowing why.  "That's the way we've always done it."

Natural horsemanship trainers like Pat Parelli and others, will tell you to get comfortable mounting from both sides.  

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