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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Forsell

Understanding Asymmetry in Your Horse

While I was doing my barn chores the other day it came to my attention that the repetitive and asymmetrical movements of paddock mucking were not doing me any favors. I decided to switch sides and my grip on my pitchfork and give that a go. It was not as hard as I thought it would be, and I learned a few things.

  • While the action itself wasn’t too hard, it was much harder to maintain my core and good posture.

  • I fatigued much quicker using the non-dominant side.

Here’s how I can apply this to training horses:

  • When we are working with the harder side, the old adage of saying the horse needs more repetition on the harder/weaker side just doesn’t ring true for me. It means the horse will not be able to do as much with quality and fall into compensation patterns more quickly. He actually needs more breaks.

  • We need to be careful about repetitive motion in general, give breaks and do something different.

  • Switch directions often to avoid compensation and fatigue.

I encourage you to find an activity that you do everyday or almost every day and try doing it with your non-dominant side. This will help with your asymmetry, and also give you an appreciation for the work your horse does as well.

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