Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
The one rein stop is promoted as a way of stopping a frightened horse. If it is merely a cue to a trained behavior, it doesn't do that. The cue is no more powerful when pulling on one rein than when pulling on two.
Circling a horse in tightening circle will slow it down. Add a disengage at the end, and even if the horse won't stop, it will be moving slow enough and with its hindquarters preoccupied to allow an emergency dismount.
I think it is silly to say that if you teach a horse to stop when one rein is pulled that you have taught a way to slow or stop a bolting horse, or to prevent a bolt. First, bolting horses do it rather suddenly. And secondly, a bolting horse isn't listening to cues - that is what defines a bolt.
The better trained a cue is, the better the chance that it will rise above the background noise of the horse's fear. OTOH, the greater the fear, the better the chance that the horse's fear will overwhelm any trained response.
And Cherie, the smiling face is usually a pretty good sign someone is joking. I'm not looking for a quick fix, and I honestly didn't expect a one rein stop to provide me with a carpeted dismount block.
However, since Mia's problems all began after I reintroduced the bit to her 2 months ago, I'm inclined to go back to riding her bitless. I rode her that way for 2+ years without her spinning out of control, and the other day proved a bit won't help control a horse that isn't responding to cues. And yes, my other horse rides with a bit 100% of the time without any problem, so it isn't my hands.