Applying energy to the side of the face and the eye on that side encourages the horse to step over its stationary leg and move away from the human.

This is the beginning of the roll-back under saddle, as well as the side-pass, and it is the preliminary step to the shoulder yield.

It is also just a good thing to know when working with horses, especially wild ones, to keep them from coming into your space when you haven't asked for it.



This is a trickier movement to teach, but very essential to good ground handling and part of the ground work foundation for saddle training.

With the horse facing you, extend the hand that holds the lead rope - pointing in the direction you wish the horse to move.

Apply energy from the other side, to encourage the horse to move away from that hand.

Release the pressure when the horse steps to the desired side.




At liberty: draw the horse's head toward you, with just enough energy to hold his front end still. Apply energy to his hindquarters. The properly executed maneuver will have the horse planting the front foot that is away from you. The hind leg that is toward you will step away from, by stepping under his belly, in front of the "away" leg. (stepping behind the other foot is a backward step and indicates that the horse is not yet flexing and disengaging enough. Try again)

After he can do these actions at liberty, you can add a loose rope. Wild horses are generally extremely soft and responsive to the pressure of a rope - just the slightest tug and they will move in the desired direction.
Clark, an aged wild horse who never did become really comfortable with people, shows us a perfect at-liberty hindquarter disengagement. Note the right foot stepping completely under the belly, in front of the left foot.
The hindquarter yield, also called disengaging the hindquarters, is an important part of saddle training. The horse stores its power for a flight response in its hind muscles. Only when it can relax ("disengage," "yield") its hindquarter muscles under your direction is it safe to ride.

Here Mike does his morning warm-up routine with Ruby, who knows these maneuvers quite well at this point.

Jerry Tindell works with a domestic horse who is still very defensive, not yet able to disengage. Note the head up in the air and the pounding, frantic footwork. The hind foot is not stepping under in front of the other foot, but rather trying to step backward. (He did get this horse to come around real nicely, in not too much time)
Here, Jerry works with a young mule, who is stepping under beautifully. She also exhibits the desireable flexion to her body, forming an arc along the circle she is walking.
Horse Psychology 101
Pressure and Release

Just Spend Time
Bamboo Pole Method of Gentling
Desensitizing, Rope and Flag Work
Clicker Training & Related Operant Conditioning
       and Positive Reinforcement Training
Get Professional Help
Case Sudies
Video Examples
Adventures of a Volunteer Halter Trainer
Raising Orphan Foals
Basic Ground Work:
Leading and Standing Still
Respecting Your Space
Backing up
Forward Movement
Shoulder & Hindquarter Control
Trailer Loading
Working With Feet