5 - Side-Pass From Hips to the Fence

Side-pass is a useful and quick continuation of the hips to the fence lesson.

Training Notes:

  • It is often useful to teach side-pass as it helps the horse to 'think forward'. Some horses may feel a little 'boxed in' if you are preventing them from too much forward movement. This will show the horse that it is still a forward step that you are asking for.
  • The horse should move along the fence at 90 degrees to the fence. You can speed up the hindquarters if they get left behind or the shoulder by stepping backwards a little faster.

Lesson Steps:

  1. Begin in the same way as you have done to teach hips to the fence.
  2. When the horse is facing the fence, simply step back down the long side of the arena, holding the left rein near the bit and asking the shoulders to move with you.
  3. You may find that the hindquarter then drop back towards the fence so simply cue it again until it is level with the shoulders and move back into side-pass.
  4. Do this a few times and with your little corrections the horse soon learns that the pressure is released when he is moving in side-pass.
  5. Congratulations - you have just put two cues together (move the shoulders left from a rein cue and move the hindquarters left from a whip cue) to form a more complicated manoeuvre. It really is as simple as that!