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QOS 08-01-2012 05:54 PM

Side Passing Biscuit
Biscuit has a head like a rock or like my hubby says a rat turd...pointed on both ends and soft in the middle. I have had the hardest time getting this horse to side pass. When I first got him he flat out refuses...backing up and throwing his head all over the place. He would yield on trails to leg pressure though. His trainer has worked with him some on this but since we had other issues that were more pressing, this was on the back burner. I did get him ONCE to side pass down the side of my RAV when returning from a trail ride! Anytime that he even did one step it was always to the right...left brought on major confusion for him.

Today I decided to work on it and yeah...head tossing, moving backwards and trying to go forwards, but in the end, he side passed across the arena BOTH ways. Not perfect but each time getting better. What a good boy he was today. I am the front rider when we go to the local park so I can clear out huge banana spiders and a side passing horse makes it so much easier!

gunslinger 08-01-2012 06:18 PM

My mare Lacy is a wonderful horse but doesn't side pass. Actually, it's my fault.....I don't know how to ask her.

How do I start on this? I'm at a loss.

gypsygirl 08-01-2012 06:32 PM

have you done any ground work with side passing ? if you cant figure it out in the saddle, i would do some work on the ground. remember, always reward the slightest try !

gunslinger 08-01-2012 06:46 PM

Just started working on it a few days ago, on the ground. It's to hot to ride much (at least for me).....

Celeste 08-01-2012 08:46 PM

From the ground, you can teach them to yield to your leg by pushing with your fist where your leg would push. The second that he responds even just a tiny bit, let off all pressure.

I really should start working on this with The Princess. I had a horse that was great at it and all other kinds of cool moves, but he went to horsey heaven many years ago. I miss that boy. I spent countless hours working with him to get him to do it.

QOS 08-01-2012 08:49 PM

I think Biscuit probably was trained to do this a long time ago but his original trainer was harsh and his methods were harsh. I think Biscuit was pushed hard in the arena and it has taken a long time to get him comfortable in the arena!

My former horse had a little training on side passing but he wasn't great at it simply from not being asked to do it often. I took lessons and that is what we worked on. We worked on side pass, turning on the forehand and hindquarters. When I took him to CakeMom he could side pass and turn on the forehand and hindquarters like a champ.

Biscuit will yield on the ground and always has...he just wouldn't when you were mounted. I was shocked today when I was able to get him to do it. It wasn't perfect but I will keep after it. LOL He can be such a snot. Next time I get on him and ask for a left side pass he is liable to have a meltdown like he used to. hahahahahaha

I have a video on my blog with very exaggerated hand/leg cues to get Red to side go right, I lifted up the right rein, kept left rein straight, pressed with the left leg to get him to move right. Woot!!! and move right he did.

Celeste 08-01-2012 09:06 PM

It is really cool that he did so good today.

QOS 08-01-2012 09:50 PM

Yes it was. I was actually shocked because every time I have tried to get him to side pass he would have a melt down...tossing his head, backing up . LOL today was GOOD!!

gunslinger 08-02-2012 06:09 AM

I've had my mare two years now. The first time I rode her I knew someone had spent a good deal of time training her. She was 12 when I bought her and is just a wonderful horse to ride, very responsive, neck reins very well and steers effortlessly.

This is one of those times when I'm pretty sure she knows as she'll do it from time to time, but I have to figure out how to ask.

The good thing is she's eager to please......and we've bonded very well so she trusts me and I trust her.

Painted Horse 08-02-2012 09:05 AM


The biggest trick to side passing is using consistant queues. And practice.

I start my horses by riding up to a fence or wall. They can't go forward.
Open a rein on one side and close the rein on the opposite side
Start bumping with your leg on the side that is closed.

As stated above, Stop asking at the slightest try . If the horse just shifts their weight on their feet, stop. Then start the process over and each time expect just slightly more of a give from the horse.

When I return from a ride, I always make my horses side pass down the side of the horse trailer to where I left their lead hanging.

After they figure out the queue. You won't need to the obsticle in front of you.

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