“Horses have natural asymmetry."
But what does that mean? And should it be used as an excuse? I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been at a barn and heard a trainer say, “Oh, he just does that behavior / movement due to his natural asymmetry”.
Or be tag teaming with a client on getting their horses feet balanced to their new way of going and the farrier says “This will just always be a problem because of their natural asymmetry.”
Saddlefitters that say “This horse is impossible to fit because of his natural asymmetry”.
And I always have to ask, what does that mean to you?
Normally I’m met with blank stares, or at the very least some kind of vague interpretation of the fact that all horses are either dominant with their right fore or their left fore and that’s just that.
And while I’m absolutely not disagreeing that this is a real thing in horses, what I would like to bring awareness to instead is that it’s not a conformational flaw that will dictate these horses entire lives the way that so many people suggest that it will.
What I actually find from a developmental standpoint, is these horses are radically imbalanced in their thoracic sling musculature.
That’s really it.
Sometimes it comes from birth trauma.
Sometimes it can be formed from compensatory issues after an injury.
Sometimes from lack of correctly balanced feet.
Other times it can be from training and an unbalanced rider.
Often times, poor saddle fit.
The list goes on….
Whatever the reason is, the important thing to remember is that it does NOT have a permanent issue.
It's readily fixable, and will completely change the entire ability for your horse to rotate through it’s spine correctly, preventing injury, nerve compression, spinal compression and allow for the feet to grow in a more healthy balance.
So please, when you hear someone make excuses for your horses lack of __________ due to that “natural asymmetry” please know that it’s just information about the development of your horse that you can take forward to help better set them up for success