My horse won't stop with two reins at drill team - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-04-2013, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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My horse won't stop with two reins at drill team

I am in Drill Team with my LBE horse. She is pretty good stopping in the barn at my arena and I ride with a few other people. However once she is in the huge arena at the fairgrounds with all of the other horses, she becomes almost uncontrollable using two reins and I have to do a one rein stop almost everytime to stop her. When we are doing a certain move, I can't just do a one rein stop to stop her because she will turn.

Any tips?
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-04-2013, 07:17 AM
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This is an experience issue...Before she thinks about continuing with this drill team, get your stop completely loose rein at home, and then take her to town a lot more and work just like you would at home until you feel good about it.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-04-2013, 07:35 AM
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If you do enough one rein stops at home, like every few strides, she will learn to stop as soon as she feels a bit of pressure on that side of her mouth until it is barely noticeable. Work at gradually lightening how much pressure it takes to stop her. Repetition is the key.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-04-2013, 10:18 AM
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Mia gets excited about riding around other horses - even just her corral mates. Over time, what is working with her is insisting on perfect stops, every stop. Her stop will probably always be worse when she is excited, so the stops at home have to be perfect. By that I mean she needs to stop from any gait in a way that shows an honest effort to stop ASAP. She needs to stop into a position with her feet in a rectangle. If not, we will back up a few steps. If other horses are around, we practice stops in the middle of our little arena and standing still watching the others work. Fidgeting means backing up or turning around and backing. A quick stop to a squared up position without fidgeting buys her praise, rubs and time watching others work...

Her biggest problem in the past was probably that I was tolerating sloppy stops. But if she doesn't stop with commitment when calm, then she isn't likely to stop at all when she gets wound up.

I'm a nobody rider, so I don't know if that has any relation to your horse's behavior or not. Good luck!
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... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-04-2013, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Mia gets excited about riding around other horses - even just her corral mates. Over time, what is working with her is insisting on perfect stops, every stop. Her stop will probably always be worse when she is excited, so the stops at home have to be perfect. By that I mean she needs to stop from any gait in a way that shows an honest effort to stop ASAP. She needs to stop into a position with her feet in a rectangle. If not, we will back up a few steps. If other horses are around, we practice stops in the middle of our little arena and standing still watching the others work. Fidgeting means backing up or turning around and backing. A quick stop to a squared up position without fidgeting buys her praise, rubs and time watching others work...

Her biggest problem in the past was probably that I was tolerating sloppy stops. But if she doesn't stop with commitment when calm, then she isn't likely to stop at all when she gets wound up.

I'm a nobody rider, so I don't know if that has any relation to your horse's behavior or not. Good luck!
OK, I don't like to do this but I must nag you a bit.
Please stop saying you are a nobody rider. You are Mia's rider. You offer advice that is spot on & has worked for you. Tried & true. You admit to mistakes but you also found ways to fix them. You've improved your horse & yourself proving you are not a nobody rider.
So you ARE a somebody rider.
Rant over
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-04-2013, 07:29 PM
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What Saddlebag said, plus, your horse is telling you that trying to stop her with two reins doesn't work. It's ONE rein for control, two reins for communication.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-04-2013, 07:39 PM
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How about seat for control and reins as the emergency brake
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-05-2013, 01:46 AM
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She wants to run through your hands? Back her OFF your hands. Don't play nice unless she does. That doesn't mean yank her face off, that means ask her with the softest, most relaxed rein ever...If she doesn't, increase the pressure until she stops and make her back up ten or fifteen feet like you MEAN it. I don't mean a sissy back up either, I mean back her up immediately and like there's a million dollars on the line and you're in a race with a reining horse.

Then relax. Let her stand for a few moments. Go on off again. Doing it at the walk/trot/ then lope helps. Eventually you don't even have to touch her face.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-05-2013, 03:25 AM
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If you've got the mind, you've got true control, but as far as aids go, it's the whole corridor of aids: seat, legs, then one rein last. Two reins makes an out-of-control horse more claustrophic & apt to run off due to the pain.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-05-2013, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Northern View Post
If you've got the mind, you've got true control, but as far as aids go, it's the whole corridor of aids: seat, legs, then one rein last. Two reins makes an out-of-control horse more claustrophic & apt to run off due to the pain.
This I disagree with.

Two reins is a reinforcement que, not a snatch and yank and pull cue. If a horse is in pain from being touched with the reins, it won't matter if it is one rein or two. If the horse is claustaphobic, it will run away from the one rein pressure because you have managed to "open the door" to the rein you aren't using. Seen a lot of colts improperly taught to do a one rein stop who will run sideways like that.


On top of this you have zero hope of ever getting a straight stop if you only use one rein the entire time. You will get a horse who bends, blows their hip out, and sure you might get a stop but there's no balance, no finesse, and no hind end drive which the OP will absolutely need if she is going to do drill team. You can't have a horse just flopping into a one rein stop, and if you can't get a horse stopped with two reins (Actually, no reins for that matter) there is a hole in your training that you need to address.

If you pull back on both reins and this horse runs off like a rocket, head in the air, bracing, bolting mach 20...Yes, get a one rein stop and kick his hip. I mean really kick his hip. Make him bend and move, because that is a complete lack of respect and he needs to think twice about doing that again. Remember when he relaxes to always release the pressure and pat him, praise him, etc. Right thing easy, wrong thing real hard.

However, do not do to the one rein stop unless you have to, and if you know you have a dangerous bolter do NOT start off at the canter or even at the trot. Get a loose rein, STRAIGHT stop at the walk first. Then the trot. THEN the canter. By that stage you shouldn't have a horse who even thinks about running off if you have prepared him, and the second you feel even the slight inclination to a fractional increase in speed...Back him off your hands, stick his butt in the ground, and back him up. Rollback the other direction and go the other way. Take away the forward motion and make him do something else.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.

Last edited by SorrelHorse; 06-05-2013 at 06:41 AM.
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