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Parelli Natural Horsemanship: Sideways Game

By Pat Parelli

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6. Sideways Game
In the Sideways Game, you will learn how to straighten your horse and have him yield laterally with softness and respect.

By developing the simple maneuvers learned in the Sideways Game, you are building the foundation for teaching your horse to sidepass. It is also the foundation skill used to develop more suspension, flying lead changes, spins, and more. On the more practical side, a great Sideways Game builds the foundation for teaching your horse how to get close enough to a gate to open and close it.

The first step of the Sideways Game is to go back to the Driving Game and make sure you can yield the horse’s hindquarters and then the forehand independently of each other. Once you have control over each end of the horse and from both sides, you are ready to ask him to go sideways. With just the halter and lead rope on your horse, ask him to stand with his nose on a fence or rail to prevent him from going forward. Position yourself facing his mid-section, and ask your horse to move one end or the other for just a step or two at a time. Start with the Driving Game to first move the forehand a little, then the hindquarters a little, then the forehand again, then the hindquarters. If you are using a Parelli Carrot Stick, move it like a windshield wiper, slowly going back and forth, driving the forehand then the hindquarters until they are moving together and your horse is going sideways.

Ask your horse for just a few steps at first, and then build up to where you can send him sideways for 20, 30 or even 50 feet at a time. Once your horse is responding well to the Sideways Game using the Driving Game technique, try asking him to go sideways using the Porcupine Game technique.

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