This is NOT Yield to Pressure

An Introduction to Ride From Within (Part 3)
January 23, 2019
The New Paradigm – A Lost Art (Part 1)
February 26, 2019
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The predominant method in riding and Horse Training is “Yield to Pressure”. What does that really mean?

The biggest drawback of using yield to pressure as the basis of riding and training is that once you head down that road it is very difficult to come back, meaning that if your horse does not yield to pressure the only option is to increase the pressure, and if that does not create a yield, the only option is to increase the pressure. At what point do you call pressure force? What is the line between pressure and force? No matter how light the pressure, I believe they mean the same thing to the horse.

Yield to pressure is wrought with problems as a way to approach another Being, it pits strength against strength and if your horse is your “other Being”, I’ll bet on your horse. And because the horse is bigger and stronger than the rider, the rider inevitably needs an advantage when it comes to applying pressure and that is where reins, stirrups, spurs, ropes and whips or sticks come in.

The mindset of yield to pressure is also an emotional mine field for a human being, if the answer from the horse is no. With nowhere else to go but more physical pressure, that pressure can also build within the rider leading to emotions such as frustration, anger, resentment which can and often does lead to complete dominance and punishment. However subtle the force is, the horse knows the difference and the rider is completely unaware of their own imbalance and disconnection from the horse at all levels, physical, emotional, spiritual resulting in a very unfulfilling experience for both parties.

There is no judgement in this, we don’t know what we don’t know. But simply put, “yield to pressure” amounts to TELLING the horse what to do, not ASKING. I believe our horses know the difference better than we do.

The alternative is to create an open space for the horse to move into. This puts the focus on the rider and to achieve this the rider must be and stay connected to themselves first.        

Ride From Within seeks to give you an alternative that never opposes your horse’s movement and never uses force against force. This allows for fluid harmonious connection and removes the resistance and tension in the body that wears us down over time.


  1. Rosemarie says:

    Where do we start with the young or untouched horse? The groundwork can be done with no contact bu still has a degree of pressure/presence/energy, it has a visual component ie wher the person is relative to the horse to direct the horse. The translation of that into the saddle takes away any visual component, now we have a lot of body contact. How do we not create some form of boundary for the horse to start, and in orer for the rider to survive…

    • Gillian Shaw says:

      Sorry for the delay in responding Rosemarie, we have had technical issues with the website. I have put the question to James, he will respond and I will post it here. Thank you.

  2. Karen Copeland says:

    Question. If a horse is braced in the right side of his neck and preferring to have left flexion at the poll and thoracic it seems giving open space would encourage the left bend . How in this situation would open space be created to accomplish the right bend and flexion? Thanks!!

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