Working on the Lateral


Buck Brannaman


The Tear-drop ½ Circle:


Small half circle, front reaching more than the hind.


No leg yield now, rider inside leg is quiet. This is not a roll back of the hind.


Keep the energy up, don’t lean in or the hind will wash out.


Flow around but the front travels more. Get to as loose a rein as possible on a short diameter. Don’t lean and don’t lose the life of the horse. Don’t over bend or the horse will wash out the hind.


Then, pick-up the soft-yield when come out the other side of the ½ circle. When come out straighten them out the other way, straighten their ribs with your legs finishing a tear-drop going the other way.


Again the other way:

½ circle fairly short. Be accurate with legs and body.

Let them flow through & then soften them on the other side.


Direct the foot as it leaves the ground, think about the front inside leg to start directing.

Rider Outside leg timed with hand.


Get to the point where it looks elegant. Fluid.






Serpentines with legs and only lite rein. Legs work evenly.


To Right & Left.

Take your legs all the time in this way to really get them light. Methodically guiding with legs. Don’t over-exaggerate: that may make a horse walk slower.





Backing reins only…


Walk, stop, back ¼ turn, walk off.


Rider’s legs not active at all on the horse.

Lead with outside hand the ¼ backing turn.


If it is not soft after the backing turn,

then take another 2-3 steps and back straight.


(“horses can be backed with legs only. But a horse has to be soft to back with reins only”)



*Finishing with soft feel yield


Stop with soft feel,

Back ¼ turn,

Bring front across

Back up

And then go on straight.





An ideal is to keep your horse over its hocks so that it is prepared to go any direction.

Balance is even weight on all four. Is not absence of bending or stiffness.





Back an arc,

Bring across,


Teeter back.

Walk off.



Get to the point where it looks elegant.




Roll hind

Roll front

Walk out.



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