Dismounting

Roseanne

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Did someone post a while ago about dismounting from the "wrong" side? Would be interested if the "right" way to dismount originates from cavalry soldiers in the past and their swords getting in the way if dismounting from offside?

I've had a broken wrist which is still very painful as I now have osteo arthritis in my hands and wrists, more so in the injured one, and found it very difficult to dismount from the nearside. Mounting from the offside was so much easier and less painful, that it made me wonder why the fuss about "right" and "wrong" ways to dismount.

Would be interested to hear any comments?

Roseanne :)
 

Skib

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Yes there have been threads on mounting and dismounting when your movement is limited. I am sorry you join the ranks of those who have difficulty.

Yes, the sword and scabbard of a right handed person hangs at their left side, so would obstruct mounting and dismounting from the right - so that's why mounting is normally done from the left side of a horse.

Would it be a problem to switch to dismounting on the right?
Provided you accustomise the horse to this, No. In the UK we drive on the left and all of us should know how to dismount on the right. The BHS Riding and Road safety test includes carrying out an emergency dismount on the right side of the horse, so that the rider is between the horse and any passing traffic. Then if your horse shies away from passing cars, you, the rider, dont get knocked over.
However, riding English one's tack, saddle etc are symetrical. If you ride Western things might not be the same?
 

kedwards

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The only reason anymore to do so, is because that is what the horse is accustomed to.

With my own horse, I will mount and dismount from either side, in order to keep him used to it (should the need ever arise).
When riding an unfamiliar horse, I stick with the near side.
 

Skyhuntress

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Haha, whatever you do, get the horse used to it first!
I remember by friend wanted to try mounting on the right side. Her horse is extremely placid, she thought it'd be no problem. Wow did he take objection. This horse who never puts a hoof wrong was suddenly bucking all over the place trying to shake her loose! ;)
 

Roseanne

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I recently dismounted from two friends' horses (not at same time:) !) on the offside, and neither objected. I didn't find it difficult or uncomfortable, so perhaps it depends how,the rider dismounts? I couldn't dismount from nearside because it is too painful, so maybe I was relaxed enough for the horses not to notice?

I can't see that it matters to be honest, which side you mount or dismount from, provided the rider is comfortable with it, and I did wonder if it was just tradition, dismounting from nearside, so thank you for postings.

Roseanne
 

Skib

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No, safety is an issue. Psychology comes into it here.
I am not a biologist and this is only what I have learned. Human beings and other animals with eyes at the front have good neural links between the two sides of their brains and can unify information from two eyes into one co-ordinated picture.
Horses absorb two different pictures of the world through eyes one on each side of their heads. The links between the two sides of their brain are not so highly developed which means that what the horse learns on one side, will have to be largely re-learned on the other. People debate how much information is transferred, figures like 13% and 27 % come to mind. Someone else may know.
Some trainers say that you should train a horse to do something on one side only or one rein only on the first day, so that the horse can absorb that knowledge. And then on the second day, progress to teaching the same action on the other side.
So a horse needs to be taught to accept someone dismounting, first from one side and then from the other. And if he has not already been taught that, you may have trouble as StormArion describes.
The importance of this for most riders, is that a horse being taught not to spook, needs to be shown and familiarised with the frightening object first on one side and then on the other.
 

Roseanne

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Sorry Skib, but I have to disagree with you about horses needing to be educated about mounting and dismounting from both sides. I've also read about them seeing things from a different "view" with each eye, but I think this has more to do with being ridden, particularly when hacked out, rather than getting on and off.

I've dismounted a number of times now on the offside, with no difficulties whatsoever. The horses stood calmly and didn't seem at all uncomfortable or "disturbed", and again, I would say it is more to do with the rider, than the horse. If you are a bit stiff yourself and find it difficult, then that would have an effect on the horse. I really don't see that the horse needs to be educated to accept mounting and dismounting from either side, and with respect, I think you are questioning their intelligence, which I think they have in abundance.

Sorry! :)

Roseanne
 

Skib

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I learned this from a demo done by Mark Rashid, the well known author and American trainer. If you want to check, I see there is an explanation in Monty Roberts' book, From My hands to Yours, (2002) pp.18-21 where he actually mentions mounting. It is pretty common knowledge. So one would expect any person who backed your horse and trained it to have carried out the training from both sides.
 
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Skib

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I am sorry about your wrist by the way. I only mentioned this because someone posted about having difficulty with an otherwise placid horse. Not to dissuade you or put you off. It is a safety matter and I am the fussy granny on this board.
 

Roseanne

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Thank you Skib-wrist is still quite painful, particularly in wet weather! As for the dismounting queston, perhaps you are right, and all horses would not accept either side, but I still maintain that a calm approach, and reasonable suppleness of the rider is the key point here. Riding the horse away is another matter, whatever the discipline, and that's where the education comes in.

Incidentally, I'm a great fan of Monty, and Kelly Marks and have some of their books, signed, I'm happy to say, and I'm off to see another of their "shows" on Monday next. I also have to say that I don't agree with everything he says, particularly that there is no need to use voice commands. Well, my horse responds particularly well to mine, and when I first bought her, she was not used to this, but very quickly became used to it.

Like all these people, their ideas are great, and mostly work, but you have to used common sense when applying them to your own horse, because again, they are all different and we are as riders?

Roseanne
 

Casey76

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Roseanne, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you re teaching a horse from both sides.

it is very important that you teach a horse to do everything from both sidea, as what they see with one eye doesn't get transferred to the opposite side of the brain. Even if you show the horse something on the left side, if you show it to him again on the right side he will percieve it to be a completely new object. This is why so many horses are spooky on the right side - because we do everything (massive generalisation alert) from the left!
 

Mehitabel

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i definitely agree with teaching from both sides specifically.

however, i think that most adult horses, especially if you're at a riding school, will have been taught, or worked it out in the past. they are also a certain type of horse - normally placid and forgiving, so even if they are taken by surprise, they'll just roll their eyes and attribute it to 'one of these daft things those weirdoes who sit on me do'. on a sharper horse, less accustomed to many riders doing many things, you could well have safety issues.

riding school horses (or ours, at least) are chosen specifically *because* people can do unexpected things to them and have then not spook.
 

Mehitabel

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ps - when i had a broken (left) wrist i got off by swinging my leg over the front, and got on from a high enough mounting block that i could just step on. i couldn't get on from the ground at all, or take my weight on the arm to dismount properly - when i had to get off properly i had to do it with reins in right hand and no weight on the left arm at all.
 

Roseanne

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I think I've given the impression that I don't follow the rules around horses, when nothing could be further from the truth, so, sorry about that. I have always "taught" for want of a better word (I still think horses catch on quicker than we give em credit for, and can always teach us a thing or two) my horses to lead from both sides, I massage, I get them used to being touched around the head and ears and all over their body, so that they are fine around vets etc, and I certainly never do anything without thinking it through carefully first, so I'm still, with respect going to stick with my original comment that it isn't necessary to "teach" a horse to accept mounting and dismounting from both sides.

Look at the rule about taking one's feet out of the stirrups before dismounting. In Western riding it's exactly the opposite.

I rest my case, with respect for all your viewpoints.

Oh, perhaps I should say I accept that a more spirited horse, like a T.B. or Arab might be a bit more argumentative than a warmblood, but my first horse was a T.B. and I did exactly the same with her, without any problems. She may well have had plenty of practice with this however, as she was about 14 years old when |I bought her.

Roseanne :)
 

cvb

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Roseanne

the "two sided" horse is NOT about whether you agree with Monty, Mark etc - those trainers are simply using their knowledge of horse physiology and applying it to their training !

There has been quite a lot of research on equine vision - including some which did update the "traditional" view of blind spots etc... but horses do not have binocular vision in the way we do. Fact.

The question is how that physical fact affects how they perceive, react, learn.

I have one horse who is VERY spacially aware - he always knew when we headed home even on a new route, and he can work out cunning routes to get to where he wants to go :rolleyes: He also gets over, under, through etc

We have another horse who does the classic "oh my god" when he sees something through the "other" eye :rolleyes: and also spooks when something is gone (removed). You have to make sure he knows when you move from one side to the other :p

If I don't know a horse, I would always err on the side of caution and check both sides out.
 

Roseanne

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Just a final word-I do hope I have not caused a few gnashings of teeth :(

I can be a stubborn bag when I feel strongly about things, but I do take advice, I promise you, but if something is working for me, then I have to trust myself.

I have been around horses for ten years now, and studied them a great deal, read a lot, discussed them until non-horsey people's eyes glaze over :( but also accept that there is still a great deal more to learn.

Hope you forgive my digging my heels in? :( :)
 

cvb

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LOL - don't worry about it Roseanne, its the challenges that keep NR fun :D

I remember confidently stating "such and such is a fungus" only for someone to point me in direction of latest research which said it wasn't :D

So keep on challenging :) at least as far as I'm concerned !
 

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