Why is the right side so different from the left side?
Citrus is like two different horses while being ridden. On the ground, he goes both ways easily, is mountable from both sides.... but under saddle, his left side is almost completely rick solid stiff compared to his touch-the-hairs right side. Why are his two sides soooooo different.. I know you have to teach a horse on each side because their brain halves do not communicate, but this seems a bit much. Any ideas on how to soften the left side?
I currently do flexing on both sides on the ground and then in the saddle. I also overexagerate releasing the cues. We bend in circles, but the arena has barrels, a fake trailer and some jumps set up, so maybe I will do the round pen for bending circles so that I do not have to time my cueing just right to avoid barrels..... I bet I have miscued him, by not releasing quick enough.
I would consider skipping the right side altogether, for now, but I like him to end on a good note, and when I get frustrated with the left side, feel like I am getting no where, I have him do a few to the right so we both feel successful.
Are you right or left handed?
I think it is like us humans, either you tend to be right or left handed, and are certainly better with the dominant one, (oh yeah, a few ambidextrious people!) and weaker and less coordinated with the other one. Ever try to twirl a rope with the opposite hand, mount from off side, etc......
Horses are very one-sided because they have a very underdeveloped corpus callosum, which is the connective tissue between the two hemispheres of the brain that allows messages to go from one side of the brain to the other.
Humans have a very highly developed corpus callosum, meaning we think with both sides of the brain at one time.
In horses, however, there’s not a lot of information going from one side to the other.
So, that’s why you train a horse on one side and then you have to go back and train them completely on the other side. A horse pretty much thinks with one side of his brain at a time.
This has many implications for behavior and safety.
I also read that the physical one sidedness can be associated with the way the fetus is curled up, usually to the left, making the right side the more stretchable side. True or not, Me no know.
I would speculate that injury and development of the body could make one side more flexible and strong than the other. I've got an Arab who is weaker on one side for sure but the teaching on both sides seems to be more a brain or cognitive limitation.
It's also hugely us :wink: Humans are left or right sided, and unless you've had it beaten out of you by a professional over years, chances are you're not even realizing how much stronger, flexible and adaptive you are from one side to the next. Jynxy started out actually being left sided, and due to my right sidedness, I actually "switched" her and made her right side her better side. Of course, my scoliosis makes it a lot more noticeable for me, but in MOST cases, it's us humans actually accentuating what side they're better/worse on.
when you lead him on on his left do you hold him really short? if so, that would not at all help.
what TLO said.
.... I am left handed and can kick with both legs, more distance with the right, more accuracy with the left.....
My horse is like that too, but probably because I more so made him that way. I do everything on one side mainly. I even only fall off on once side, too. xD I always fall off of the left, which has made me more reliant on my right side. I don't even stand on both my legs, it's all the pressure on my right side. (When I'm standing, not really pertaining to me being on the horse.) I am right handed, too. My strong side is my right, but I always get on/off the left. (Unvoluntary dismounts included.) Plus others have supplied pretty good information as to why this might be. I don't really know what you can do, but it sounds like you are on a pretty good track so far. Good luck!
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