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, by John Lyons Trainer Keith Hosman.

By Keith Hosman
Teach your horse to sidepass toward you on the ground as you move away. This trick with such a high "wow" factor is actually one of the easier things to teach.

Teach a Horse to Sidepass Toward You on the Ground

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...

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