OOI  -  Offer light, Offer medium, Insist

(also known as OOPS - Offer, Offer, Pull)



There are different aspects to this exercise but one critical component is the stop. We want to teach the horse to follow the pull of the rope (rein), rather than be pulled by it, in other words ‘yield to pressure’. This is inherent in all of our training.

This strategy says to the horse, “I will be light and ask politely in my request. I will give you the chance to respond softly and politely. However, if you ignore me or argue, I will insist that you follow, cooperate and I will not accept being ignored, nor will I wait all day for you to respond.”

Some incorrectly interpret natural horsemanship to be all about allowing the horse to take as much time as the horse wants. In a sense, that is true, as it can take time for a horse to perfect and we must be careful to reward the ‘try’. However, I prefer to say, it takes the time it takes but that does not mean we should not insist on a response. If we allow the horse not to respond and we wait and wait and wait, we get no where and we are teaching the horse to ignore us.

The deal is, “don’t pull on me and I won’t pull on you”.


1. Make up your mind as to what your standards (rules) are for the horse. i.e. set the boundaries and don’t allow the horse to push past them. Hence, how light do you want the horse to be? How do you want it to start, cruise (the time between start and stop) and stop. (think of it as an air flight - take off, flight, land). I prefer snappy, graceful departures; smooth controlled flights; smooth, light and safe landings.

2. OOI means not waiting and hoping that the horse will respond. The horse learns to ignore you when you allow it to take its own time to respond.

3. O; O (the second Offer means the horse has missed the first Offer, so we remind him he has missed it); If he misses it again, Insist. Ask and allow, then insist, don’t argue. There is no debate.

4. Don’t be emotional, be aware and be consistent.

5. Do not shift the boundary - the rule is O,O,I not O,O,O,O,I

6. The conversation may start off like this: You say - “Will you give me your nose?” The horse says - “No, I’ll just pull or run through your pull”; You say - “I don’t think so!”

7. Softness occurs when the horse allows it in the first offer.



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Yield to Pressure

These notes help explain the philosophy inherent in the ‘Yield to Pressure’ exercise and do not describe the full execution of the exercise. Prior introduction to the exercise may be required to make full sense of these notes.