Originally Posted by Cherie
I consider checking a horse around or back to be more effective than when 95% of riders try to accomplish the same thing in the saddle. Why? A horse can give himself instant release or relief from doing the right thing. Even a good rider cannot reward the right thing as quickly and as consistently as the horse can reward himself.
What I've always done is similar to checking them up, but done with hands... I hold the rein, with my hand rested on the front of the saddle, find that spot where they can give a little more and can't pull away. With my hand rested I can hold when they pull away, so the pressure isn't released wrong, and my hand doesn't move if they give.
I find many people when they teach this without resting their hand on something have a tendency to keep pulling the horse around, even when the horse gave a little.
I guess mine is the same as checking a horse up accept it's done in my hand, so I can easily drop a rein.
I've also done this from the ground with a surcingle - keeping my hands touching each other. Having that physical place to keep your hand ensures the release happens at the right time, but having control on the reins in an emergency.