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Re-sensitizing, stopping in a snaffle & how to cue to turn

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  • Julie goodnight horse with hunched back

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    01-24-2013, 04:01 PM
  #11
Trained
I always try to think of what I can do with my leg before I start asking with rein aids. This means starting by closing the thigh lightly.

That being said, if he is still running through your, I have no problems with a stronger hand being used.

I always ask first with less pressure [rein pressure in this case] than I think the horse will respond to. This is a bad step to skip if you are trying to make him sensitive, just because they ignore it, doesnt mean they didnt notice it. The is paired with a light closing of the thigh.

If he hasnt stopped from light pressure, move right into the amount of pressure you expect [when he's behaving that is ;) ] to have to use. This is paired with a little stronger thigh pressure.

If he still hasnt stopped there is no issue with giving a good hard tug on the reins. This is paired with strong thigh pressure. If it takes you this long to stop his, you can back him up once he stops.

The important part is, that the second he thinks 'stop' you take the pressure off.

Every good trainer I have ever ridden with [mostly eventers] have used basically this same system. It is not mean to be strong with your horse. If you can't get a horse to stop you are in a dangerous situation, you want to put yourself in that position as little as possible. Begging your horse to stop will never work, they need to do it right now when you tell them too. By being consistent and asking as lightly as you possibly can in the beginning, your horse will quickly learn what is required.

These trainers include some big ones, like becky holder and lucinda green. There is no point in being nice to their baby mouth if you can't even control them.
     
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    01-24-2013, 04:48 PM
  #12
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeroKero    
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?
I believe it's all contingent upon each other. Right now, your horse is not broke to the leg cues, so you will have to use more directional cues, even maybe over emphasizing them, until he "gets it" and then you can lessen it.

So if your horse is not used to being driven by the leg, you need to use your directional rein to open the door - give him a direction to move it. Then the leg encourages the movement into that direction.

If the horse speeds up into a trot, you will block his forward movement with your outside rein. Insist that outside leg means turn, not go forward.

All my horses have several buttons, and several combinations of buttons. Both legs squeezing at neutral position is speed up. Outside leg before the girth is move the shoulder, outside leg at the girth is sidepass, outside leg behind the girth is move the hindquarters. Everything correlates to that, no matter what I do with the head. If the horse moves forward when I only asked for a pivot, then we block with the outside rein and give him a little more "help" with the directional rein to turn.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't use the one-rein stop every time you stop. That is not the goal. But, if your horse is bucking and running off, pulling back on both reins (unless you are pulley reining), will only encourage the horse to power through the bit, and give you more powerful bucks. A horse cannot buck (well) or run off in a circle. So, if you are galloping off, a full one-rein to the thigh is not a good idea, but the horse should have the presence of mind to understand that turning that head puts him in a safe place, takes his mind off the fixation of running, and controls him into a circle.

That being said, my one rein stop is the prerequisite to stopping with no reins. I don't want to pull back on both reins to stop, because I pull back on both reins to collect my horse going forward. If I pull back on both reins, I do not want my horse to stop. I want him to collect into the bridle.

If I drop my weight and drop my reins, I want my horse to stop dead. If I wiggle my spurs, I want my horse to back up. I don't want to reinforce pulling back to signal stopping. I want my seat to be the cue. I want my horse to start to listen to my body language. If he doesn't listen to my deep seat, then I will get his attention by a one-rein. Then he realizes, hey! I forgot something. This one-rein is not fun, next time I will listen to what comes before.

Then you can speed up the disconnect with other means. But the one-rein is not something you do every single stop. It's a means of teaching the stop on no-reins.

And also, only a poorly trained horse will duck out from you. I can jog my horses with their heads flexed to the side. That does not mean they get to duck out. That's what your outside leg and rein is for.
FaydesMom and LisaG like this.
     
    01-24-2013, 07:44 PM
  #13
Foal
Just a couple quick questions -

Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
If the horse speeds up into a trot, you will block his forward movement with your outside rein. Insist that outside leg means turn, not go forward.
Does this mean, to pull back the outside rein while still over-exaggerating the inside turning rein?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
That being said, my one rein stop is the prerequisite to stopping with no reins. I don't want to pull back on both reins to stop, because I pull back on both reins to collect my horse going forward. If I pull back on both reins, I do not want my horse to stop. I want him to collect into the bridle.
Do you still pull back on the reins to teach the back up at first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oh vair oh    
And also, only a poorly trained horse will duck out from you. I can jog my horses with their heads flexed to the side. That does not mean they get to duck out. That's what your outside leg and rein is for.
What is ducking out?


Also, you've been so helpful, thanks a ton.
     
    01-24-2013, 07:58 PM
  #14
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
if he hasnt stopped from light pressure, move right into the amount of pressure you expect [when he's behaving that is ;) ] to have to use. This is paired with a little stronger thigh pressure.

If he still hasnt stopped there is no issue with giving a good hard tug on the reins. This is paired with strong thigh pressure. If it takes you this long to stop his, you can back him up once he stops.

The important part is, that the second he thinks 'stop' you take the pressure off.
This is the thing that drives me nuts, this is what we were doing forever. I had two different trainers do demonstrations on him - I know that in only a session a horse can't be expected to be perfect, but there ought to be some change - and one of these trainers was brutal unfortunately once he realized Clyde wasn't going to stop. Talk about hauling on reins, I thought my horse's jaw was going fall off. I told him thanks but no thanks, that way wasn't for us, we were going to do it without being barbaric. Well, like I said 2 months of me working and working to get him sensitized to stop with the snaffle by squeezing and pulling backwards got us less than nowhere, but he did perfect his rollkur.

So, I bought a french link 4 ring gag. Instead of bar pressure, it used poll and lip, and he stopped perfectly in the first 5 minutes riding in it, still does. But the gag doesn't have great lateral cues and isn't where I'd like to stay, so here we are taking another crack at snaffles, with a new strategy. Maybe it won't work again, maybe he truly just does better with the different pressure points, we'll see.
     
    01-24-2013, 08:47 PM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
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.
OP,

Eventers and racehorse riders most often use a pulley rein method for stopping an excited, strong horse rather than a one rein stop. Julie Goodnight explains it fairly well here:


However, I have to say in the video she doesn't use her body very effectively in the stop. I recommend to instead use your body as an eventer and rather than sitting down in the saddle, stand with your weight in the stirrups and down through your lower leg for more leverage.

This is the best method for stopping a strong horse that is running away with you on a narrow trail or on slippery footing. If a horse has the bit in his teeth you can actually wrench it back, as long as you have a strong seat. Sometimes you need to alternate hands and use first one side of the bit and then the other in order to be more effective.

The beauty of this method is that it uses the horse's own body and momentum against him. You can also use it in a more mild fashion with a horse that knows well how to stop but is having too much fun galloping with his friends. You can use it to make a horse change leads back and forth as well, which will slow him down considerably.
bsms and KeroKero like this.
     
    01-24-2013, 11:59 PM
  #16
Foal
That's very interesting! I noticed in the video she's using a shanked/leverage bit, will this method of stopping also work with a snaffle?

Also for the standing in the stirrups while stopping, I'm trying to picture what you mean in my head - do you mean that I actually stand up in the stirrups, or do you mean I put all my weight in the stirrups to push my body back and into the saddle, sort of bracing myself (like... wedging myself between the stirrups and seat)? I think you mean the latter, which sounds like a good idea so I just wanted to clarify before I try it out.

Thanks for the great advice!!
     
    01-25-2013, 11:41 AM
  #17
Trained
Sorry if my posts seemed counterproductive--not feeling well yesterday. I don't think that a full fledged discussion on the merits on the one-rein stop are helping the OP.
I believe that you need to start this horse over. I was browsing and came upon this current thread.
Old-School Horse Training: The Snaffle Horse
Personally I don't feel safe riding a horse outside of the arena who won't stop. My finished school horses didn't run away... with ANYBODY. Therefore, if I err and find myself on a horse that won't stop, I try to dismount and walk back, and then start retraining.
     
    01-25-2013, 11:41 AM
  #18
Trained
I believe that you should retrain this horse under saddle from the beginning, as if he was a 2yo colt. You must have a starting point, one where you and the horse agree. Start with the gag, since you said that he did stop with that bit.
When I taught I bought/sold nearly 25 horses and all I did was retrain, except for "Corporal," (1982-2009, RIP), who was fully green when I bought him as a 4yo.
Many of these horses were on some kind of Western curb, and I worked the ones I liked and kept to a snaffle. It didn't happen overnight. It took months. Sorry to be repetitive, but my lesson horses were worked under saddle >1,000 hours/year. You, as one rider/trainer cannot replicate that amount of hours, but you can realize that your time frame is too short to accomplish your goals of stopping on any kind of a snaffle bit. I suggest that you read threads like the one I linked to, and learn from those who have trained for many years.
To add, a CORRECT halt begins with the rider's body. You stop following the motion of the walk, then, stop following the motion of the horse's head, and, at the same time, you squeeze your calves and push the horse into the bit. AS SOON AS the horse halts, you release your legs and the reins. Stand for minutes to accentuate what you want, a true stop of the horse's legs and body. As you work on this, you will teach a half-halt, which begins collection and reiterates your halt cue. It's like softly pumping the brakes on your car on an icy road. I half-halt my horses every time I ride them. Now, it's 2nd nature for me to do so.
     
    01-25-2013, 05:11 PM
  #19
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeroKero    
That's very interesting! I noticed in the video she's using a shanked/leverage bit, will this method of stopping also work with a snaffle?

Also for the standing in the stirrups while stopping, I'm trying to picture what you mean in my head - do you mean that I actually stand up in the stirrups, or do you mean I put all my weight in the stirrups to push my body back and into the saddle, sort of bracing myself (like... wedging myself between the stirrups and seat)? I think you mean the latter, which sounds like a good idea so I just wanted to clarify before I try it out.

Thanks for the great advice!!
If you look at how the first event rider is using his body in this video clip, you can see how to use your body to stop your horse. I'm not saying to ride like this all the time if you are a Western rider, but it can be very helpful when working on teaching a horse to stop.


I don't like how Julie Goodnight uses a leverage bit in demonstrating that pulley stop, actually. If you can't stop your horse with a leverage bit then you have a serious problem since the amount of force you might exert could injure the horse. As you can see, her horse reacts very strongly to the demonstration. But I definitely recommend it in a snaffle.
     
    01-25-2013, 07:00 PM
  #20
Weanling
If your horse isn't actually bolting and taking off on you, I don't think you'd want to use the technique Julie Goodnight describes. It's only for emergencies, not for teaching them to stop better (but if you think you'll use it in an emergency, practice a couple times beforehand).

I've used a one-rein stop when I'm first teaching my young horses to stop. I first sit down in my saddle and say whoa, then pick up the reins, then bend the head to one side a little. Often they'll walk in circles. Just keep your legs off the horse and he'll stop eventually.

Once the horse stops, I release the pressure. I might then ask him to flex to the other side, etc., but I always release the pressure when the horse does the right thing.

I move horses on to a regular stop fairly quickly. They get pretty sensitive to weight shifts.

I will also take their heads if they start acting up (i.e. Hunching their backs to prepare to buck, etc...). I would be pretty hesitant to do it at a full gallop because, as someone said, it would probably result in a fall. But it doesn't sound like that's your problem. It sounds like your horse is just blowing through your stops, possibly because of the bits that have been used, etc...

I would suggest using your weight as a cue to stop (and gaving a vocal command if you're into that), then picking the reins up lightly, before pulling back or doing a one-reined stopped.

A one-reined stop is a nice tool to have in case your horse is getting worked up, so it won't hurt you to practice that. It's best to teach it to them when they're calm instead of just busting it out in an emergency.
     

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