Equisearch.com - Full Article
By Clinton Anderson with Jennifer Forsberg Meyer
Photos by John Brasseaux
Sidepassing is our goal in this exercise. I’ll show you how to train your horse to step laterally to the side with his whole body when you cue him with your leg directly behind the cinch.
The lateral movement of sidepassing helps to free up your horse’s ribcage, shoulders, and hindquarters. It teaches him to move his feet in a rhythmic, even way, without using his hindquarters for forward impulsion. It helps him learn to keep his shoulders, ribcage, and hindquarters aligned. Teaching your horse to sidepass will help you make the most of his natural athletic ability.
In addition, using your legs to direct your horse’s ribcage in a sidepass helps you upgrade to "power steering."It makes your horse more easily maneuverable on the trail, around cattle, in traffic, or when negotiating tight turns--including those needed when going through a gate.
We’ll begin with yielding your horse’s hindquarters along the fence. Then, with your horse facing the fence (that is, perpendicular to it, so that it’s blocking his forward movement), you’ll ask him to step directly sideways down the fence. The momentum he’s built from yielding his hindquarters off the fence will help to carry him on in the sidepass. (It’s easier to redirect movement in this way than to ask your horse to begin the sidepass from a standstill.)
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