one rein stops - Page 2

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one rein stops

This is a discussion on one rein stops within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    12-14-2012, 08:53 PM
[QUOTE=Pegasus1;1799751...using a one rein stop on a runaway horse who is no longer listening to your voice cues is likely to be more effective than two rein stop.[/QUOTE]


It is good in an arena, or good in a big field, but that leaves a huge number of situations where you need something else.
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    12-14-2012, 09:24 PM
Bsms, this is one of the areas where I'll disagree with you. Using 2 reins on a horse who's bolting/bucking/etc will only work if they've been trained to respond to it properly. If they don't have that proper training (which would theoretically prevent the buck/bolt in the first place), then all 2 reins does is give them something to brace against to run/buck harder. Think racehorses and saddle broncs, both of them brace against the pressure on their head to do their job more effectively. Of course, the pulley-rein has it's place, but I wouldn't want to use that in every single situation.

I, like Christopher, only use the "one-rein" as an emergency handle in the event of a buck or a bolt. Even then, I don't expect the horse to stop when I pick up on the it's not a true one-rein stop. On a bolting horse, I take their head to one side and spiral them down into a controlled lope...and then proceed to lope them until they physically can't lope anymore (may sound harsh, but do it once or twice and that 'mad bolter' will either stop bolting altogether or he'll start stopping when you ask him to even in the midst of a bolt).

On a bucker, it's not about getting them to stop bucking, they'll only stop bucking when they either figure out that bucking is too much work or they buck you off. It's about taking all their power away so they are easier to ride out so that you can correct the issue without having to spit dirt out first. By pulling on one rein, you bend their body and disengage their hindquarters, thus making bucking very difficult for them. They can't brace because the pressure is uneven. I've found that only the truly committed buckers will keep bucking in that position for more than 2 or 3 jumps after getting bent around. Even when they stop bucking, again, I don't let them stop. They get pushed into little tiny circles and worked hard so they figure out quickly that bucking=hard work.

I suppose the commonly taught ORS (where the horse is trained to stop as soon as pressure is applied to one rein) as seen in NH videos has it's place in making average backyard riders feel more confident. However, for me, much of the training required for that is counterintuitive to my ultimate training goals. So, I'd have to go back in and untrain/retrain the issues caused by the ORS (stopping on the front end, having a loose butt in stops, not turning on their hindquarters, etc). That makes twice the work just to train something that I don't even need.
    12-14-2012, 11:51 PM
I won't speak to bucking, since my horses aren't buckers.

If one has room to spiral down, that is fine.

But a pulley rein is basically a way to gain leverage in using two reins to stop, and the positioning used makes it harder for the horse to throw its head up or go way down. The problem I've had with it isn't in getting the horse to stop, but keeping the horse stopped. Still, a pulley rein stop followed by successive 180 deg turns as the horse starts to think about bolting again has worked for me - as has spiraling into a tighter circle until the horse slows.

When I tried steady pressure on Cowboy during his first ride with us a year ago, it didn't work too well. In a sense it did, since I didn't mind doing circles at a gallop until he realized I wasn't going to give in, and then he gave in and started responding to far less pressure:

Something I notice looking at this picture is that the angle of my pull left Cowboy's head only about 30 deg below horizontal. I'm beginning to think that getting the head at least 60 deg below the horizontal may be a big factor...

He hasn't repeated that act since that day (2 Dec 2011), and Mia hasn't bolted since then either, in the sense of a fear-based bolt. Mia has taught me the meaning of "got the bit in her teeth" on a few rides outside the arena, when cantering near another horse brought out her inner Secretariat. She won't do it in an arena, but on a trail she's decided she was going to win by 30+ lengths.

With no room for a spiral, I've tried A) see-sawing (making very small zig-zags down the trail), B) rubbing her neck with my free hand while calling her name softly (I'm batting about 33% on trying that technique), or C) pull **** hard/pulley rein. C worked the best. The other day, I tried D) bumping on both reins hard. It actually worked quite well, but she wasn't nearly as excited so that wasn't a fair test.

We're doing remedial work on our stops in the arena now, and some on the trail. I asked our farrier. He said he once owned a horse who was great, but only AFTER he galloped 2 miles on his first ride of the day. He was riding bulls for fun back then, and thought it was fun to do the 2 mile bolt every morning...but I'm not 19, and have no desire to ride bulls! If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I'm all ears - or all eyes, since this is the Internet. I continue to be a fan of having as many ideas as possible in your clue-bag in the hopes that at least one will work when your horse hits the fan...or when she decides she is in the Belmont!
    12-15-2012, 12:03 AM
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Bsms, this is one of the areas where I'll disagree with you. Using 2 reins on a horse who's bolting/bucking/etc will only work if they've been trained to respond to it properly. If they don't have that proper training (which would theoretically prevent the buck/bolt in the first place), then all 2 reins does is give them something to brace against to run/buck harder. Think racehorses and saddle broncs, both of them brace against the pressure on their head to do their job more effectively. Of course, the pulley-rein has it's place, but I wouldn't want to use that in every single situation.
Yep, using two reins to stop a racehorse is kinda pointless - all it'll do is make him go faster, they lean like crazy. Generally you need to do a pull-release for them to get them to slow down.

I think I'd teach the ORS to a youngster because it's a handy thing for them to be able to do if I were to resell. Although it's pretty easy to teach anyway. I'm not sure why it's seen as a bad thing? Saved my neck countless times stopping Brock from bucking me off.

But even with a well-trained youngster it's nice just to have them give their head with the slightest ask on one rein, gives you a lot of control if it's ever necessary and it isn't cruel in a full-cheek snaffle or similar (which is what I'd hope you had a youngster in anyway). You don't yank them around when teaching it, you just ask until they have their nose at your boot, then praise and release...
LaYuqwam111 and Pegasus1 like this.
    12-15-2012, 06:20 AM
BSMS I have a a suggestion which you have probably tried before but I'll go ahead and say it anyway. I personally have not used it as I have had no need to date, but I have watched James Roberts use it to good effect.

He had a horse called Bee Animus, a beautiful black warmblood that had belonged to some of the top eventers in the country. And I mean top eventers. They had given up on trying to stop this horse bolting and being a very fit eventer he could go a long way fast.

He arrived at James for a restart and immediately bolted with James on board. Now James had a large outdoor school and access to Salisbury Plain where he could gallop for as long as he wanted in no danger. He decided that actually Bee Animus just loved to fight against the pressure of the bit, so James decided not to fight. He just let him run on a loose rein for as long as he wanted, and then made him run some more. At no time did he put pressure on the bit. Apparently when B realised that no one was fighting him, in fact encouraging, he fought to stop and James let him win that battle.

In the end B was given to James and he got to the point where he was letting his junior apprentices ride him for warm up and warm down.

I'm not suggesting this is the way to go for everyone as it would take some nerve to pull off but this idea of not fighting back has stuck with me. I am using it on Fillys' head tossing behaviour by encouraging her to head toss and making a game of it. As soon as I stopped fighting her and actually joined in the game with more vigour than she desired she made the change and started to quit the behaviour. The great thing about the idea is that I have not damaged the rapport with her by continuously saying "no", I've made her decide to stop it herself as being no longer "fun".
bsms and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
    12-15-2012, 09:53 AM
Pegasus1, I would love to let Mia run herself out. Unhappily, the longest stretch I have available that is safe for galloping is under 1/2 mile and that isn't anywhere near enough to run Mia out. There is a dirt road about 1.5 miles from here that is long enough, but it also gets a fair bit of traffic. And the gate to get past the cattle guard is a narrow, barbed-wire affair. I really think there is nothing wrong with Mia that 1-2 miles of running wouldn't work out of her pretty quick. I don't think she had ever been ridden outside an arena before last spring. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body, so I really think it is just the excitement of finally getting to run the way a horse SHOULD be able to run that intoxicates her. But who wants to be on a drunk horse?
Pegasus1 likes this.
    12-15-2012, 10:09 AM
Yes we are not all as lucky as James was with our location. I would have a similar problem to you where I live.
The only snag with Salisbury Plain is that whilst it is huge it is also one of the busiest military training areas in the UK. Filly came home from James literally bomb proof, wheely bins are still scary though
bsms likes this.
    12-18-2012, 12:37 PM
When a horse stops listening, regardless of reason, it will become tense from poll, right thro to it's heels. The reason we teach this from the ground first is to get the horse to relax his poll. When his poll is relaxed, his nose can be pushed toward his chest or rattled side to side. If the one rein stop becomes part of the daily "pre-flight" check it becomes ingrained to relax.
    12-18-2012, 12:44 PM
The one-rein stop has worked for me.
    12-18-2012, 12:46 PM
BSMS - allowing your horse to run itself out is detrimental to the horse's health and she may collapse. As the heart demands more oxygen blood is drawn from the skin. When this stage is reached the animal soon collapses and dies. Skinning an animal is quite a tack requiring a sharp knife. When an animal runs itself into the ground the skin with peel right off. When running like that the animals mind enters a catatonic state and the body just keeps going.

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