Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Right Side, Left Side, Right Side, Wrong Side?

I’ve noticed when working on Connected Groundwork that Grace gets stuck on the right side. She is great out on the line on both sides, but when I work close to her for exercises like Elephant Trunk and Walking S she locks down her right side. This time I decided to save myself time by asking the question “What am I doing wrong?” and it occurred to me that I have been handling horses for 30 years and I NEVER lead them or handle them from the right side, I always lead them on the left side. It makes sense that Grace would do well going to the right on exercises where she is away from me as I’ve always lunged her on both sides with the belief that I had to in order to condition her evenly, so why not lead from both sides?

I’ve started leading Grace to and from the pasture from the right side. It is amazing by how conditioned my body is to do everything from the left side of my horses head. I seem to almost get in Grace’s way on the right. More than once I have felt her drop her right shoulder into me when walking her in a turn. I had to be very aware of my body, specifically where my hips and torso were pointed. She does the same thing under saddle… wait… maybe I do the same thing under saddle…. Oh Really??


  1. It seem so simple when you think about it, but so many horse people never reach that realization.

  2. I realized that with the more Peggy work I was doing as well, and I too started leading from the right side. I was amazed by how different things were for both of us, Milo kept wanting to scoot back over to the other side. While I get on and off regularly from both sides, leading on the "off" side is another one to continue working on.