Missouri 5 Year old Peruvain Paso ridden in a Bozal and  Peruvian or western saddle in pasture fenced small field area by intermediate to advanced rider.

Question: I need to teach a mare to side pass.  I have been told to put her in front of a fence, and picking a que to ask her to move.  Then like in backing reward for even the
first step and repeat.  Do you have any other suggestion?  ( I have done all her training so far)

From Panelist Lee

 It is much easier to teach this exercise from the ground before you do it
mounted.  Start first with teaching her the turn on the forehand -- the
easiest part of the whole thing.

Stand at her shoulder.  Place your hand (either flat or as a fist) against
her side, just behind where your upper calf would hang in the stirrup (just
a little to the rear of the girth).  Lightly tip her nose toward you, and
press into her side.  She will move her hind legs over.  Praise her, then
repeat on the opposite side.  Go on to something else, then repeat this once
or twice during the first lesson.  Next, still standing at her shoulder, ask
her to move her front legs over.  This time, place your hand just  in front
of where your calf would hang in the stirrup, and push lightly with your
other hand on her neck, about where the rein would hang if you were neck
reining her.  Ask her to move her front leg over one step.  Praise her,
repeat on the other side.  Practice these exercises on the ground for 6 or 7
lessons, until she yields over easily in response to the pressure from your
hand. Next, ask her to yield her entire body to the side, with your hand
pressure at the grith and using light pressure from your rein  on her neck
to push her forequarters away from you. (still standing on the ground)
Practice until she will yield over easily from  pressure in both directions.

Now, get on her.  Stand her square.  Tip her nose to the side, press with
your leg, and ask for a turn on the forehand of about one step to the side.
She should have no trouble with this one.  Sit straight in the saddle, do
not lean in any direction.  Reward her, walk forward, and stop again. Ask
for a turn in the other direction, hind legs stepping over, away from your
leg pressure, one step.  Praise her and ride forward a few steps.  Now, ask
for the turn on the hindquarters -- this will be more difficult for most
horses. Sit still, slightly weight your hipbone over the side you want her
to turn toward. Press with your right leg and right rein to ask for a turn
to the left of one step.  Don't worry if she backs a step or two before she
goes to the side, this is normal.  Reward her, then move forward again.
Stop, ask for a single step turn in the opposite direction.  go on to
something else.

Gradually build on these one step turns so that she will make a 180 on
either front or hind legs without trouble (this may take a number of lesson
sessions -- do not rush it)

Now, put the two exercises together. Ask for a one step turn on the
forehand, followed instantly by a one step turn on the hindquarters.  (this
will give a sort of zig zag motion to the side).  Practice over several
lessons, then ask for the entire horse to move to the side, with your leg at
the girth, and your indirect (neck) rein pushing against the center of her
neck, while your direct rein is quiet (no pressure from this rein unless she
tries to walk forward, at which point a light pull and slack should remind
her to move sideways).  Sit in the center of the saddle, do not lean in the
direction of travel.

Why this instead of facing the horse to the wall?  Because the motion of the
horse, even when it is to the side, is better when it is "forward" and not
blocked.  Develop energy, channel it to the side with your aids, and you
will have a smoother and more attractive side step.  The horse will appear
to be "dancing" to the side, not plodding dully sideways.

Good luck.

Lee Ziegler

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