Do you need to get on from the left?

Do you need to get on from the left of your horse? We all mount that way but do we really need to do it? There is more option out there than you think and your not limited to how you get on unless you carry 1 particular item. Read on to find out what.

Back in the day when horses were used for active service within the military, and many battles before, servicemen would carry their very long, very sharp sword hanging off their left hip and down their left leg. In addition to this, many swords around the 16th century had hilts with basket type guards to protect the fingers of its beholder. These were typically designed to be right-handed and drawn from the left side of the body. Now there are theories that, depending on the tradition within a country, i.e. which hand they used to hold their weapon dictated which side they got on, which stands to make sense. However, in the UK at least, it’s a left sided action because the sword was stored on the left leg and wielded with the right hand.

Now, can you imagine getting on to a horse and having to swing your left leg over the saddle without losing or injuring any part of your anatomy, as well as any part of the horses’ instead of your right leg? It wouldn’t have made for a healthy army. So, it was a standing order that when mounting your steed, you get on from the left eliminating all these risks and making it clean, swift and efficient, all the words the military love.

So, when you mount from the left you do not actually need to, unless you a carry a sword, however you are carrying on the legacy of the sword. Alternatively getting on from the right is not a wrong, bad or “we just don’t do it” thing. It’s good to prepare your horse for any situation. If you have never mounted or dismounted from the right side and you need to due to the environment you are in, who knows how your horse is going to react. Whereas if you do it regularly, it’s a known, calm and ordinary occurrence for your horse.

This leads me to people with medical issues. You do not have to get on by the left just because it is a traditional standard at the jeopardy to your health, or even your horse’s. I have had many clients that can’t feel their left legs for whatever reason, are too stiff to swing their right leg over but still insist that is how it should be done. Isn’t it time we modernised this tradition into a functional and practical movement that works for anyone?

So here it is. “You have permission to get onto your horse whatever side you feel more comfortable, feel in less pain or whatever way you want to that day.” Just keep safe, look after your horse as well as your self and it really does not matter which side you mount from, unless you’re packing, obviously.


Let us know in the comments below what you think about mounting, we would love to know. Remember you only find this way easy because its how you have been taught, you can teach yourself anything.

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