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From John Lyons Trainer Keith Hosman


Rein In Your Horse's Speed Course [Downloadable PDF]
A Downloadable Book

A sample from Day 1:

How do you know when to move to the next step? In most cases, it's when your horse is getting something ninety percent of the time. If you cue your horse for a movement - and he nails it nine out of ten times - move to the next step (so to speak). If the horse messes up simply go back a step, perhaps break things down further, and really get the previous work down pat before trying another advancement.

Bear in mind that simply asking your horse to do something over and over - without seeing a change - is going to annoy your horse and stall out your training. As I've been inferring, every single time you pick up the rein, you should have a backup plan already set in your brain. You should have a backup plan that says: "If Seabiscuit doesn't move his hips (for instance), I'll ask him to move his shoulders instead." That way you've still kept the correlation (in his brain) between you picking up the rein and him moving some part of his body in order to get a release from bit pressure. Example: If you want the horse to stop his shoulder and move his hips around (a disengagement or turn on the rear), you should already know that if the horse simply hangs on the bit, continues moving his shoulder and just kind of drifts around, then you should be prepared with your backup plan. You might then, after about six seconds, change the angle at which you hold the rein and increase or decrease the pressure until the horse moves a shoulder a step to the left or ask him to take a step backward instead. Find something to get that you know your horse will do - and end on that.

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Available Downloads:
"Stop Bucking"
"Rein/Speed" (for Nervous Horse Owners)
"Round Pen First Steps"
"Trailer Training"
"Your Foal: Essential Training"


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Teach a Horse to Sidepass Toward You on the Ground

By Keith Hosman, John Lyons Certified Trainer

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Teach a Horse to Sidepass Toward You on the Ground

How to teach your horse to sidepass toward you on the ground as you move away.

Does your horse move away as you try to mount up? The following exercise will give you the cues and control you need to ask your horse to move back into position.

Have you seen Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson or other famous horse trainers back away from their horses (on the ground) - while their horses continue to sidestep toward them? It looks pretty cool, doesn't it? It looks impressive, like something that took years of training and maybe a little black magic. Funny thing is, this trick with such a high "wow" factor is actually one of the easier things to teach. This, as opposed to a smooth flying lead change or a reiner's sliding stop - two examples of "tricks" which take years to perfect. With an amenable, tractable horse, you can teach the "sidepass toward you" in just a few easy sessions.

Notice the two words "amenable" (willing) and "tractable" (easily managed). If your horse isn't willing and easily managed on the ground, if his shoulders can't be moved away or he can't be backed up lightly, then shelve this exercise until you've done more ground work. To look at it another way: If your horse thinks he's the boss of you, don't even try this. Find yourself a book, video or article on round penning/ground control and start there. To be blunt, you have no business attempting a more advanced maneuver if your horse is likely to bowl you over when agitated. Ignore this advice, and you'll find yourself with a real handful. This exercise involves steps that, if glossed over or improperly taught, can teach your horse to challenge you, rather than peacefully submit. If you're able to walk your horse past a group of beckoning buddies or honking cars or barking dogs without your pulse quickening, you should be ready.

You'll need a dressage whip and to saddle your horse. A saddled horse? Yes, this is ground work, you won't be riding - but you'll see why the saddle in a moment. The saddling isn't 100% necessary - many trainers go without it here - but I've learned a little trick to "motivate" my horse without upping the "danger ante," so to speak. More on this later. Also, put your headstall (with a snaffle bit and reins) on the horse. The bit will offer a clearer signal than would a plain halter. We'll be motivating our horse to move his legs, then attempting to channel in which direction he moves. Horses tend to "run through" halters and allowing him to push past us or through a halter will place his legs incorrectly (on top of our own, for instance), reward him for resisting (when he blows past us, avoiding our request), teach him that we can be ignored, or all of the above. Halters used here simply make for a more difficult situation.

So, from the ground and with dressage whip in hand, you'll walk your horse to...

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Read previous article: How to Teach a Horse to Pivot on Its Hindquarters

Read next article: Reins: 5 Tips to Improve Your Use

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   Meet the author:  

Keith Hosman
John & Josh Lyons Certified
Clinician and Trainer

Utopia, TX (Hill Country of San Antonio)

Keith Hosman is based in San Antonio, TX and is available for clinics, lessons and training. He frequently travels to Los Angeles, CA and Kansas City, MO where he partners with fellow clinician Patrick Benson for clinics and demonstrations. You can find him on Google+ and Reddit



Related Products and Articles

To see articles and training products related to the article you just read, see the following topics:

Come to You
Face First in Stall
Ground Training
Hip Control
Lateral Work - also see Diagonals
Mounting and Dismounting
Sidepass - Fullpass
Standing While Mounting

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Lyons Training 101: Issue Twenty-four, Part 1
"Training Horse in Hand: Teach a Horse to Sidepass Toward You on the Ground"
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