What Side Do You Saddle A Horse From?

Ever been told you are only supposed to saddle your horse from the left side? These days you hear almost everything. There are plenty of “experts” out there with advice. The answer is you can saddle from either side or you can do it from the back if you’re strong enough! For those who may decide to try it from the back , ‘ya might check to see if he kicks first’. Here at the ranch, some riders saddle from the right side. The thought is that there is less to throw over the horse. There are two cinch straps on our saddles that hang from the right side and only one on the left that can easily be coiled up. Sheer efficiency tells these clever horseman that the right side is proper.

Some of us saddle from both sides, depending on which way the horse is standing as we approach. Too doggone lazy to walk around and too much effort to make the horse turn around holding the saddle.  Yep, it’s true, some of us aren’t smart enough to actually tie the horse when we saddle. We just sort of expect him to stand still when we don’t do it the “correct” way.

Our horses all saddle from both sides, we don’t do the rear approach. Not for fear of being kicked, just looks like too much work that way. Aside from plain old laziness and work avoidance, we saddle from both sides for a couple of reasons. We don’t want a horse to jump or act silly if being saddled from the right side by someone who due to health issues needs to work from that side. Also we have bought horses in years past that blew up the first time we threw a saddle from the right side. Not to mention the goofy ones that went nuts if they got hit by the stirrup of the saddle being put on a horse next to them. Bottom line, your horse should let you saddle from either the left or the right side and there’s no rule ever been set in stone to the contrary.


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