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How would I explain to my students why everything with the horse is done from the left side?

Suzanne Campbell
Bear, DE

Thanks for your inquiry. There are several answers to your questions.... First, because horses are very one-sided, that is, they only think on one side of their brain at a time (and it's a very small brain), they can learn something on one side, and not know anything about that particular subject on the other side. So we have standardized the left side as the side the horse is trained for everything, from haltering to leading to mounting. Why the left side and not the right? You have to go back to ancient times when horses were used as war mounts. Soldiers carry their swords on the left side (to reach with their right hand) and so they could only mount from the left or they would sit on their sword. I have been told that in the orient, it is standard to mount from the right, also dating back to ancient times. I'm sure there are other answers to this often-asked question, but these are the ones I give. Perhaps some of our other instructors will share their insights into this subject. Keep up the good work teaching!