|Welcome to the “My Place” page
My name is Scott
I run the Rope and Wire website.
My original idea for this page was to give those living in the country the opportunity to tell others about the things that made their farm or ranch so special.
Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that either no one likes to brag or no one lives on a farm or a ranch. Whatever the case, no one submitted an article so I felt it was high time to try something different.
So for now this will be literally “My Place.” I’ll use this page to post a western blog or short articles. They will either be mine, or possibly one from a contributing R&W community member.
The theme will remain Western but the content will change weekly, or there about.
If you click on any of the links to past blog's, you can return to this page by clicking on the My Place button across from my picture.
I hope you enjoy it but if not, might I suggest you “stroll the grounds.” Read a story or watch a movie.
Thanks for visiting.
I was watching my son play a video game the other day. The character was a knight and he rode this really nice white horse. As I watched I noticed on several occasions the knight mounted his horse from its right side.
Well I know a few things about horses and I caught this glitch in the program right away. I made the “mistake” of mentioning to my son that horses are always mounted from their left side, not the right as this knight was doing.
Here’s why I call this a mistake. I no sooner had the words out of my mouth when my son came back at me with that dreaded one word question. You know the one. It’s the “Lets see if he really knows what he’s talking about or is he just blowing smoke” question.
It’s the one that can make you look like a very knowledgeable and well-informed dad…or an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
My kids and I have a great relationship. I encourage them to question statements I or anyone else may make if they feel they need more information or an explanation of something they don’t fully understand. Asking questions is a good way to learn and it keeps people on their toes.
Anyhow, I knew the question was coming. I could see that look on his face and I was not prepared to give him a good answer. The old standard “Because that’s the way its always been done” just wasn’t going to cut it.
That’s when he let it out…”Why?”
The best I could do on the spur of the moment was to turn it into a fun moment for us. So I tilted my head slightly and jokingly said, “I think I hear your mother calling me” and I headed down the stairs.
He yelled after me “Ya right dad, she’s not even home!”
“I have good ears.” I yelled back as I headed down the hall to my computer. I needed to do some homework.
A short time later I was back with the answer and some newfound knowledge. It was a lighthearted moment. My son had caught me making a statement I couldn’t respond to and we both learned something in the end.
Question: Why are horses mounted from their left side?
Answer: First lets look at it from the horse’s point of view.
Ever since horses have been on this earth they have been the hunted, not the hunter. It’s part of their nature to be aware of potential danger and detect dangerous predators. Their eyes are set well on the sides of their head and their vision is close to 360 degrees. They have what is called monocular vision, which means they see two fields of vision at once, one out of each eye. What a horse knows on it’s left side isn’t necessarily what it knows on its right side, at least until it learns. Its instinct is to be suspicious of anything new that has been introduced into its environment. Consequently, a horse that has consistently been mounted on its left side has learned that this action is not a danger and will remain docile but if this same horse is approached or mounted from the right side it will see this as an unfamiliar event. Survival mode kicks in and it may instinctively spook.
So what does this have to do with mounting a horse on it’s left side as opposed to it’s right? The short answer is “tradition.” But there’s more to it than that.
The practice most likely originated when sword-toting warriors first began riding horses. For the most part they wore their swords on their left side, since that would be the easiest way for a right-handed swordsman to pull it from its scabbard. So if you're wearing your sword on your left side, you would naturally want to mount your horse on its left, since otherwise the sword would get in the way when you threw your leg over it’s back as you were mounting. This would most likely cause the horse to spook.
This seems to be the general thinking on why we traditionally mount a horse from it’s left side and it does make a certain amount of sense, at least up to the point where we stopped wearing swords. That’s where tradition enters the picture and maybe a touch of good old standardization. It’s true, we are creatures of habit and most of us don’t take too well to change. Plus, common sense says that if everyone mounts from the same side, nobody gets a nasty surprise when they try to mount an unfamiliar horse from the “wrong” side.
Makes perfect sense to me.