Re-sensitizing, stopping in a snaffle & how to cue to turn - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re-sensitizing, stopping in a snaffle & how to cue to turn

Training question~! I tried looking for other threads but didn't find what I was looking for...

Quick backstory:

So I've been riding in a french link wonder bit/elevator bit.. it's a gag bit. Anyway. I switched from an eggbutt single jointed snaffle to that in the early fall because my horse would not stop in his snaffle, he would walk right on through. I had success, he stops wonderfully in his gag - but I thought about it, and wanted to take yet another crack at re-sensitizing him to a snaffle. Went out this past weekend, picked up a D-ring french link this time.

Here is the actual question part:

I've learned through several videos and articles (like this one, for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61RU9nnQmz8 ) That hauling back on a snaffle is not the way to stop a horse, instead you flex them to a stop. Clinton uses this technique also, an "emergency one rein stop". My horse flexes very well on the ground. The issue I see is, in saddle, if I put pressure on one rein now, he will turn - how do I teach him the difference between flexing to a stop, and direct reining?? The answer I usually get to this is, use leg cues to turn - but how on earth do you teach leg cues without using direct reining first, you have to bump with your leg, then use the rein to show them what you mean. I wanted to teach him neck reining also, but this has the same issue, you can't teach a horse to neck rein, without using direct reining to show what you meant. I hope all that made sense.

How do you teach the one rein stop with a horse than is direct reined ?
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post #2 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 01:47 PM
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I'm confused reading this.

And not sure what you are wanting to do, nor why you can't teach the neck reining and leg cues?

Not sure why direct reining is canceling out all of this?

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post #3 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 02:18 PM
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Ground train verbally a solid "halt", "walk on" (a driving verbal cue) to walk, and "back." Teach this for leading ad nauseum, then translate it to lunging. When you try it mounted ride straight into a corner to encourage the halt.
EVERY TIME I lead my two youngish geldings I use the English and insist on perfect behavior with the halt, walk, and backing. Start with a whip so that you can insist if you horse ignores you. It isn't the bit that stops the horse, it's the training.

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post #4 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 02:42 PM
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One-rein stop: Ask for the "whoa", sit deep in your saddle. The horse continues to move, keep the body posture, flex the head, rest your hand on your thigh until the horse comes to a complete stop. The association is - deep seat = one rein stop. One you have that down there are ways to "speed up" the stop, but you don't need to focus on that right now.

Turning - Open up the directional rein (not to your leg, just out), add outside leg. Each time you ask for the turn, you use less and less directional rein as the leg takes over.

There really is no miscommunication between the two if you differentiate each with correct body language.

Eventually you can flex the horse and have him continue moving forward. Each does not dictate the other, they are independent aids that do different things when combined.
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post #5 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh View Post
One-rein stop: Ask for the "whoa", sit deep in your saddle. The horse continues to move, keep the body posture, flex the head, rest your hand on your thigh until the horse comes to a complete stop. The association is - deep seat = one rein stop. One you have that down there are ways to "speed up" the stop, but you don't need to focus on that right now.

Turning - Open up the directional rein (not to your leg, just out), add outside leg. Each time you ask for the turn, you use less and less directional rein as the leg takes over.

There really is no miscommunication between the two if you differentiate each with correct body language.

Eventually you can flex the horse and have him continue moving forward. Each does not dictate the other, they are independent aids that do different things when combined.

That was a great explanation - I wasn't sure if all those cues would be too confusing, and if the horse would be able to differentiate between rein + leg = turn, versus rein + seat = stop. Makes sense, and he's not stupid so maybe I just underestimate horses ability to learn still. Probably, actually. So if I wanted to teach the neck rein instead, the same idea would apply, direct rein + neck rein = turn, whereas just direct rein + seat = stop. Horse math, people.

Thanks a lot! That gives me confidence that we will be able to go back to a nice simple snaffle and hang up the gag for good.
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post #6 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 03:13 PM
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Yeah, though the math for neck reining usually is - outside leg, outside rein, then direct rein. The goal being that after training direct-reining in a snaffle, you have slowly started eliminating the direct rein and are relying more on your leg. I guess one doesn't really come before the other, when I "direct rein" I'm simply opening the door, giving my horse a direction, then reinforcing with the leg to "go through the door". Once the horse is confident in that, then you add the outside rein for reinforcement, and the direct rein so the horse keeps his nose tipped to the inside.
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post #7 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 03:16 PM
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That "one rein stop" thing isn't 100% reliable. If your horse has bolted you could flip him trying it at a dead run. I've also ridden at least one horse who wouldn't stop and his head was turned all of the way to the side. Then, the ONLY recourse is to fall off, and I've done that, too, and walked away from it. (I've been riding for >40 years.)
Your horse doesn't understand that you MEAN stop when you rein him to it. I also tried a horse while shopping a few years back that refused to stop until I used my heels on her chest. 'O' I walked away from that one.
Oh vair oh's suggestions are terrific bc you shouldn't ride with just the reins, but use your weight and legs, too. I've even become familiar with dividing my horse into 4 parts and controlling each individually.
BUT, your horse needs to stop ON THE GROUND for you all of the time, FIRST. Keep the snaffle and spend the next 3 months training on a normal stop with 2 reins.
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post #8 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh View Post
Yeah, though the math for neck reining usually is - outside leg, outside rein, then direct rein. The goal being that after training direct-reining in a snaffle, you have slowly started eliminating the direct rein and are relying more on your leg. I guess one doesn't really come before the other, when I "direct rein" I'm simply opening the door, giving my horse a direction, then reinforcing with the leg to "go through the door". Once the horse is confident in that, then you add the outside rein for reinforcement, and the direct rein so the horse keeps his nose tipped to the inside.

So you reccommend teaching leg, then neck ? The only issue with this for us will be, and I don't know how this started, but when I have tried to use leg to cue he thinks I'm telling him to speed up and will trot. So, in that situation, I could see doing a few things... I could press back with both reins, but he may ignore that. I could ask him to one rein stop, but that's just stopping - I could teach a verbal cue on the lunge, but I'd rather not have verbal cues. Um... I will see what works. He may actually slow his gate when I squeeze both reins, actually. Any ideas, just in case? Do you think just skipping the leg cue and going right to neck has less chance of success?
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post #9 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
Keep the snaffle and spend the next 3 months training on a normal stop with 2 reins.
I'm still on the fence about this, but I am leaning more towards the flex-stop rather than both rein squeeze for as little bar pressure as possible. With his last snaffle he was "behind the bit" and after countless hours trying to re-sensitize him to it (pressure, release, yada yada), I gave up and bought the gag. There was a thread I posted this story in before so I won't repeat myself and make people crazy. Like someone mentioned before, it could be that the french link, with it's tongue pressure, will work much better than his old single jointed snaffle and we may have more success right off the bat this time - but, in case it doesn't change much, I thought I'd go out there loaded with new ideas. Also, as we all know, nothing is going to be 100% reliable.... if only!
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post #10 of 32 Old 01-24-2013, 03:54 PM
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I have taught my two boys "halt" with pressure on the nose AND using the halter. I won't argue types of snaffles, but you are right that changing to a gag isn't working either. Honestly, I usually see the gag used by eventers to keep control when riding/jumping cross country. Most change to a snaffle or Pelham for the show jumping phase, at least that's what I saw in the 2012 Olympics 3-day.
Really, what you need is to allot the time to retrain for this. Otherwise this problem will get worse. THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM. I shared my experiences bc they were truly frightening. My lesson horses (1985-1994) would always stop bc they did SO MANY lessons, with SO MANY HALTS that any that didn't stop well, learned to stop well. My 1st lesson horse, "Toma", (1970-2004, RIP) was sold from a trail riding place at auction principally bc he would not stop. He was running riders back to the barn. After a few years my 7 yo rode him on our family's trail riding vacations bc he successfully retrained to the halt.

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