Every horse is naturally asymmetrical. In the 17th century, Grandmaster in the art of riding Antoine de Pluvinel (1552 – 1620) already described the natural asymmetry of horses. Also, François Robichon de La Guérinière (1688 – 1751) and Gustav Steinbrecht (1808 – 1885) wrote about this phenomenon in their books.
The natural asymmetry can be divided into 10 areas:
Almost every horse bends naturally more easily to one side than to the other. This is a result of the natural bending of the spine. The spine is bent from neck to tail, and can be bent to the left or to the right. Some horses have a continuous ‘’S’’-curve in their spine.
The right bended and the left bended horse have a:
- concave, hollow side that contains short, stiff and strong muscles.
- convex, stretched side that contains long, supple, weak and less developed muscles.
In the wild it makes sense to have a hoof preference, because in emergencies, one side of the body will take the lead.
Do the test:
Step 1: Place some food about 5m in front of your horse.
Step 2: Encourage it to come forward and eat the food.
Step 3: When it begins to eat the food, note whether the left or right hoof is placed furthest forward.
Step 4: Do this twice more.