Flow-induced oscillations of a wire-mounted, freely yawing axisymmetric round bluff body and the induced loads are regulated in wind tunnel experiments (Reynolds number
) by altering the reciprocal coupling between the body and its near wake. This coupling is controlled by exploiting the receptivity of the azimuthal separating shear layer at the body’s aft end to controlled pulsed perturbations effected by two diametrically opposed and independently controlled aft-facing rectangular synthetic jets. The model is supported by a thin vertical wire upstream of its centre of pressure, and prescribed modification of the time-dependent flow-induced loads enables active control of its yaw attitude. The dynamics of the interactions and coupling between the actuation and the cross-flow are investigated using simultaneous, time-resolved measurements of the body’s position and phase-locked particle image velocimetry measurements in the yawing plane. It is shown that the interactions between trains of small-scale actuation vortices and the local segment of the aft-separating azimuthal shear layer lead to partial attachment, and the ensuing asymmetric modifications of the near-wake vorticity field occur within 15 actuation cycles (approximately three convective time scales), which is in agreement with measurements of the flow loads in an earlier study. Open- and closed-loop actuation can be coupled to the natural, unstable motion of the body and thereby affect desired attitude control within 100 convective time scales, as is demonstrated by suppression or enhancement of the lateral motion.