Is it better to be left-handed or right-handed? According to recent research, the prize goes to the lefties. It turns out that rider handedness has a significant influence on riding position as well as performance, and that it can even affect accident rates. Katrina Merkies PhD of the University of Guelph (Canada) found that left-handed riders maintain better posture in movement compared to right-handed riders.
Meanwhile Uta König von Borstel PhD of Göttingen University (Germany) discovered that in her evaluation of nearly 700 riders, right-handed riders tended to have less success in competition and to compete at lower levels than left-handed riders. Righties were also twice as likely to injure their dominant hand. The gold medal, though, goes to neither lefties nor righties, but to the ambidextrous rider. Ambidextrous riders had, relatively speaking, the highest representation in high-level events and were more likely to place several times.
Still, don’t throw in the towel (or saddle pad) if you’re right-handed, the researcher say. Armed with this new knowledge, righties can be better aware of their mistakes and learn to correct them so that their equitation goals fall within their reach.