Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: I was born in Germany, raised in Texas.
Another one rein stop proponent here. I have a gelding that was started very badly in his early years. I inherited him at 8 years old because by now, no one could get a saddle on him and if they did, it was a rodeo bronc scene without even a rider in the saddle yet. Long story short, I was in the saddle after about 9 months of working with him on the ground but little things still triggered a buck fest. He quickly figured out that it was also a convenient way to give me a quick exit. I had a rodeo kid ride him for me once and he rode through the bucks but I decided I will never be a professional bronc rider and learned to use the one rein stop on him. I even pull his nose around to the left when I mount now since he caught me of guard that way once as well before I even had my right foot in the stirrup. Works BEAUTIFULLY!!!! He's tried to buck when I ask him to walk out after a mount but as a rule now, we never just walk off. I mount with his nose pulled in, and we do several circles this way and kind of spiral our way into a straight walk if that makes sense. When he did try to buck in doing this, I had that nose to my boot tip and I could feel that it would have gotten ugly, but we went round and round and he finally relaxed. Slowly we straightened out until I felt he was relaxed enought to change directions. So yes, you can totally release too soon. I'm not saying keep him at your boot the whole time, but even when disengaging him, keep him pulled around in a circle for a while and you'll feel when he starts to relax. It's been almost 2 years since my guy's last bad bucking incident. He has learned that if I even think he's stiffening up on me short notice, I pull him into a circle and he hasn't gotten away with a buck once since riding him this way. And I still mount with his nose pulled in even though he's been doing really really well. I've used this maneuver on a run away situation too with a different horse and it worked then as well. So I'm all for the one rein stop. You're not yanking on his mouth. You're disciplining him at this point. He'll learn he can't get away with his stunts after enough of these moves.