Well first to answer your question about stopping,
Something I have always done on my colts and my barrel horses is anytime you ask your horse to stop pull back easily, making sure you are keeping your hands down, sit your butt down and say "whoa" firmly. Immediately have your horse back up a few steps. The trick to teaching a good stop is absolute consistency.
As for the side passing question, if you plan on doing any sort of barrel racing using your feet is a must. You want your horse to move away from your foot and leg pressure. I would definitely not change that at all. You want to keep putting your foot into your horse when side passing, turning etc to keep them soft and keep them listening to your cues.
When asking a horse to pivot you need to be able to move their shoulders around with both bit pressure and leg/foot pressure. Practice slowly, start on a fence walking slowdown a bit and ask the horse to turn to the inside by sitting back and using your outside foot to move then across. It takes some time to get the pivot sometimes but like most training, consistency I extremely important.
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Last edited by JustaSkippenJess; 11-06-2012 at 11:29 PM.