Dismounting from the "wrong" side is bad training?

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Dismounting from the "wrong" side is bad training?

This is a discussion on Dismounting from the "wrong" side is bad training? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What side to mount and dismount a horse
  • Why do you always dismount a horse on the left side?

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    08-07-2011, 09:11 AM
Dismounting from the "wrong" side is bad training?

I've worked with Lucky to ensure I can mount and dismount on both sides. I'm no trainer and don't claim to be but I just thought it might someday be useful. I didn't see anything wrong with this.

I rode with another girl last night. She has tons more knowledge and experience than me. As we went to dismount her horse, who occassionally kicks at people, had moved a bit too close for comfort on luckys left so I slipped off his right( well wrong) side.

The girl freaked out. Basically told me to never mount or dismount from that side and it might mess up his training? I felt very chastised by someone who knows way more than me but I still can't understand why it is such a bad thing for him to handle mounting or dismounting from either side? Can anyone here please enlighten me?
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    08-07-2011, 09:17 AM
Green Broke
Dismounting or mounting from both sides is great training.
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HowClever likes this.
    08-07-2011, 09:20 AM
Mounting/dismounting from the off side won't do anything negative to your horse's training. As you said, it just exposes him to something different, and it comes in handy on occasion.

Don't know where your friend would have gotten the idea that mounting and dismounting from the off side would be detrimental to the horse's training... mounting from the near side is just a convention left over from cavalry days, when (right handed) riders would carry a sword on their left hip, which would interfere with mounting from the off side. There's no real training reason for the practice. Same goes for leading from the left - just a tradition that, more often than not, makes one-sided horses.
rlcarnes likes this.
    08-07-2011, 09:32 AM
This is a great example why you should always take training advice at face value & decide for yourself.

Switching sides for mounting\dismounting is a beneficial lesson to teach any horse. You never know what situation you might be in down the road and need to use the off side. Better to have a prepared horse than one who's going to freak because he's one sided.

Its also beneficial for your fenders on your saddle. Mounting from one side for years will make that fender stretched and then your holes don't match up on both sides.

The biggest benefit I've seen from using both sides is their back. I had a mare back in the day who was the queen of chiro visits. Lesson mount, got ridden by various folks and everyone mounted from the left. Chiro suggested switching on and off and she needed a lot less chiro adjustments.
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    08-07-2011, 09:36 AM
Green Broke
Freak your friend out and mount your horse on the right side with the saddle backwards. Just kidding. Wouldn't that get her to chastise you? I'll behave.
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    08-07-2011, 09:42 AM
Originally Posted by mbender    
Freak your friend out and mount your horse on the left side with the saddle backwards. Just kidding. Wouldn't that get her to chastise you? I'll behave.
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Lol. Lucky is so chill he'd probably let me!

I appreciate the comments. Thank you. I felt so ignorant after her comments and knowing her experience level versus mine. Its quite comforting to know I wasn't just being a stupid new owner :) I'm trying hard not to be the person who ruins a good horse :)
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    08-07-2011, 09:43 AM
I find your misbehavior funny, mb :) I will add to it and join the fun!

You could go a step further to freak her out and go for a "Three Amigos" mount....and yes, I've tried it(in my younger crazy days)...thank goodness for calm horses because I didn't make it ;)
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    08-07-2011, 09:45 AM
Green Broke
Its hard to take advice from "knowledgable" people. We want to believe them because of our lack of knowledge. But what's good is you came here and asked. Now you know what you did was fine.
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    08-07-2011, 09:48 AM
Green Broke
LMAO!! I used to do it too. But I did make it. Another way we would mount this one horse was to climb over his neck and he'd lift up and we'd slide onto his back. Backwards but hey, we were mounted.
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    08-07-2011, 09:53 AM
There's nothing wrong with mounting and dismounting from both sides. Whenever I start or train horses I always make sure they're just as good to do the same thing on both sides (When first getting on their back, I make sure I work on both sides putting pressure and both sides putting weight in the stirrups, just like when you desensitize a horse with a plastic bag or flashy red flag. You don't just teach them not to spook on one side, you make sure they're good all around.), cause like you said you never know if something will come up and you'll need to. I'd rather be able to dismount on the right side in an emergency than to get off on the left and end up severely hurt or worse because it was "improper". ;) It is something that's taught to do in lessons or for show (I'm not sure as to why, my guess is it could be for unison or something to do with way back when when you had a sword to carry with you xP Like I said, not completely sure why). But over all, if you're really into things and wish to mount and dismount on one side only, your choice. But it's definitely not going to "mess up your horses training" by far. XP Like I said, safety first, hence why I like one side of my horse to be just as useful as the next.

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