Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
How many lessons have you taken? Are you still taking them?
The "inside" leg/rein refers to the leg or rein that is toward the center of the circle you are riding, no matter how big the circle is. Even an arena is just one big circle. The "outside" cues are the ones that are away from the center of the circle, so they would be the ones that were on the rail side.
From the way you described your reaction to the sidepassing, it sounds like you are doing it correctly as you are using your leg to move him back toward the rail. Make sure that you aren't putting unequal pressure with your legs when you ask for the trot as that could make the problem worse.
As for the pulling against the bit, have you had his teeth checked recently? If not, you might want to have that done. Pointy teeth can cause a lot of training problems.
After tooth pain is ruled out, what I really like to do with a puller is one of two things, depending on what kind of horse they are. I will either ride them on a loose rein where they can't put their head down low enough to find pressure or I will just keep solid pressure when they pull and don't release it until they pick their head back up and give to the bit pressure. When they do that, I drop all rein pressure and give them a scratch on the neck. If this has become a habit on his part, it will take a long time and a lot of consistency to correct it so if you don't see results in just a couple of rides, don't give up.
If you continue to have problems, it couldn't possibly hurt to take some more lessons with the horse.
Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/