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This is a discussion on Sidepassing. within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    05-31-2011, 01:55 AM
Green Broke

It's been awhile since I posted in this section of the forum and I'll try to keep this as short as possible, without creating a whole book. Recently, I've take n my horse Chinga back to the basics with flat work and as many of you have seen both him and I are benefiting from this is more ways then I considered possible, I have also noticed that his jumping (and mine) is rapidly improving with both of us becoming more and more experienced. Along with this his respect and his willingness to work has greatened.

His training excellently, although it takes me a solid thirty minutes to get him to work into a nice frame, I've noticed that with consistent work that this is becoming a smaller time frame. Recently, I have started to attempt to expand his knowledge by teaching him "dressage movements". We're currently starting out with the basic sidepass. However, he seems to become quickly confused and to not understand. He will start to backup and sometimes become so inpatient that he will begin to paw - his a young tb and has the attention span of a toddler. So I attempt to keep the sessions short and change things up to entertain his small mind. When he does throw this "tantrums" I will quieten him down and ask him to relax, before trying again and as soon as I get the smallest "response" to what I am asking, I praise and continue on with something else to entertain him. Anyway, I've considered, maybe I'm going about things the wrong way. So I would love to hear the experienced members of the forums "ways" of "training" the sidepass. I believe that both Chinga and I do have the ability to do this movement, which I have performed many times before on more experienced horses - I understand that this alone does not make me equipt to train the movements of dressage to a horse.
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    05-31-2011, 02:14 AM
If backing up in the problem, ask him with his butt to a fence. You can use your reins to stop him from going forward, and the fence to stop him from going back.

I start sidepassing from the ground before I get on, and this usually helps as well.
Some horses like to go foward, some like to go back; sideways isn't very natural, but I find once they get it, they get it quickly.
I always release and break when an attempt is made, wether it's (depending on the horse) the thought and body shift of going over, or just a half step. Release and reward, and they pick up on it quick.
    05-31-2011, 02:15 AM
Sidepass is not a word used in dressage. It's a western term and I confess I am not sure if it means the same thing as a leg yield or a half pass. I think it would be most associated with a "leg yield". Meaning the horse in not bent in the body, though it may have some bend in the jaw. Poll or neck (slight). It is moving forward to the same degree that it is moving to the side, though this can be made steeper. However, there IS forward movement in a leg yield. The bend (what little there is) is away from the direction of movement (so if you are yielding to the right the horse's nose will be tipped left and a very slight bend in the body to the left.)

Half pass is much harder. The horse is bent more notieceable, and he moves in the same direction as the bend.

What are you working on? And how are you cueing this?
    05-31-2011, 02:28 AM
Sidepassing and leg yeilds aren't really the same thing.
In a sidepass the horse should be moving sideways straight, facing ahead.
Leg yeilds they are moving laterally and forward, most times with a slight bend in the opposite direction of travel.

Sidepassing shouldn't really be either English or Western; it's just something every horse should know to do. I teach it a lot when schooling WP or Reiners, especially.
    05-31-2011, 07:37 AM
As WSArabians said above, sidepassing and leg yielding are two different things. Though sidepassing is not a commonly heard of term in dressage, leg yielding is not a dressage specific movement either. Again as WSA said, both movements are a basic that all horses should learn.

Leg yield, as described above again, is when the horse moves forward and laterally, at the same time, with only slight flexion to the opposite direction of travel, and no bend through the body (unless for a training exercise for something else but we won't complicate things!). There should be a clear crossing of the legs.

The leg yield can be used for a number of reasons - but with particular emphasis on moving off the inside leg, and developing an understanding of a connection to the outside rein.

I don't necessarily go out of my way to train leg yield as a specific movement. Instead, I will ask for a few steps here and there throughout every work session with any horse. The easiest way to get the feel of it, is working on a bend, specifically a circle. Ride a 20m circle between B and E on your favoured rein. As you come off the track towards the quarter line, open your outside rein slightly of the horse's neck while keeping a light contact. Put your inside leg on the girth to ask the inside hind leg to step sideways. Maintain this aid until you feel the inside hind step forward and across. Your outside rein should 'fill up' at this point. Give your aid and ride forward and straight again. Ask every 1/2 circle initially, and build up to every 1/4 circle. Just a few steps, fill the outside rein, and ride straight and forward again. When you're getting the steps on a 20m circle, bring it to a 15m circle at B. As you are heading towards E, ask for the leg yield but continue riding parallel to the outside track. 3 or 4 leg yield steps and you should be at the fence, then turn back onto your circle and ride forward... so on and so forth until you can ride as many steps of leg yield as you like with no resistance.

Leg yield will lead to being able to teach turn on the forehand, which is another excellent way of developing a connection to the outside rein and lateral response to the inside leg.
    05-31-2011, 11:07 AM
Half pass is when the horse moves diagnolly facing forward, sidepass is moving sideways facing forward.
    05-31-2011, 12:45 PM
I am actually teaching my boy to do this right now. It works best from the grown to begin with. I began with a long training whip and stood beside him at his shoulder.
Begin by teaching him to move his shoulder and rear separately. I would stand next to him and tap tap tap tap the whip on his shoulder until he became annoyed and moved his shoulder away from me. Because I was holding him from going either forwards or back, he crossed one leg over the other and moved sideways from me.
Immediately stop the tapping and reward him. For the first little while, reward even the slightest sideways movement. When he finally gets it, ask for more steps until you can get him to pivot.
Repeat the process with his back end (back end was significantly easier for my boy than learning to move his shoulder. Probably because I do it every day in his pen when I want him to move his bum out of my way )
Once these are down, put them together. Alternate tapping on the shoulder and bum so that he moves one and then the other. Reward for ANY sort of effort.
With my boy, I figured out that tapping his belly right before it meets his back leg worked easier for getting him to move both ends sideways rather than the alternation thing which made it very easy to teach from the saddle.
Once he understand the ground cues, get on him and give him the leg/heel cue that you intend to use to ask him to sidepass. Give him a second to ponder what it is you are asking him to do...and then use your ground aid (training whip) from the saddle. Reward any movement in the right direction
He may still need the aid for a little while, but he should get this fairly quickly and begin responding to the leg command on his own.
After that you can practice nose to fence or the other way around if he likes to try to back up.

Hope this helps!

Edit: while you're on the ground, work on flexing his neck as well. It'll help out later if you want to teach him leg yeild and halfpass
    05-31-2011, 02:22 PM
ONe thing that people often say is that sidepassing is ONLY moving sideways. But this is almost impossible for a horse, unless by moving sideways they mean NO crossing over of feet but just a short sideways step, then antoher and another, never crossing the legs. Once you start crossing the legs, there is forward movement of some degree.
    05-31-2011, 02:47 PM
As stated before the term sidepass is a western term.

The closest dressage movement would be the full pass.

It is used when displacing the shoulders or hip is proving difficult during a leg yield for example and the rider will resort to a full pass flexing the horse to the opposite direction of travel ( which can later be changed as normally the horse looks to the direction of the movement when done alone.). Once the horse understands the use of the riders inside leg the leg yield can continue.

The legs do cross.

Here is a video.

    05-31-2011, 03:03 PM
I'm a western girl who likes to show trail classes, which require sidepassing. In a correct sidepass, the legs cross over with every step, but the only forward is on the first step, so they can get situated. I'll try to find a good video for you.

When I teach the sidepass, I only do it after I can move the front end and hind end in either direction independently and quietly. Then I find the "link spot". That's where you cue the horse to move front and hind together. It's important to go one step at a time. The first few times, ask and release as soon as he takes one step in the direction you want him to go.

The key to teaching this, in my experience, is to stay relaxed and keep the horse relaxed.

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