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RookieReiner 10-12-2011 10:42 PM

Stop help
Hello, I have been reining for about 8 months and have been doing well at the local/provincial ranch classes, I have a 8 year old reined cowhorse mare, but I only do reining as there are no cowhorse trainers close :-(

Anyway I have a couple questions, my mare does stops fairly well anywhere from -1/2 to + 1/2 She stays light on her front end and pedals nicely and slides around 25 feet, she rarely pushes her shoulder and loves stopping I can even stop her with no reins or question is everytime she stops her head comes up, her head is always nice and low and she is soft on the bit but up pops her head whenever we stop. ive tried throwing the reins away, ive tried babysitting her head through it, same thing everytime....I really want her to fold over to really get the wow factor in our stops any exercises good for helping this?

another question is I am having trouble with lead changes she tends to rush them and not let me handle her through them, she usually tends to rush when she gets to center ( anticipating them) when we to tons of circles sans lead changes...any suggestions

4MyHorses 10-13-2011 02:21 PM

To be honest with you training a reining horse is not easy. If you have only been doing this for 8 months, your skills are probably not all that great and you sure don't have the experience to train. Also, what I've noticed is the training on reined cow horses is kind of sloppy compared to reining horses. That doesn't mean your horse doesn't have the ability, but you are better off finding someone who knows what they are doing. Your horse has already learned how to stop incorrectly and you are probably talking about the two most difficult maneuvers for horse and rider: stopping and lead changes. Find someone who can help you!

RookieReiner 10-13-2011 05:34 PM

I do have a trainer/coach, i just like to see if anyone else has any suggestions, I have been riding for 14 years so i have lots of experience riding and training. Her maneuvers have actually improved since ive purchased her. and the problems I am describing are very small not big problems, her head is slightly elevated, not straight up, and she rushes a small amount only i can feel it, most people cant see it unless they are really experienced and her stop itself is fairly correct just would like the head to lower a bit

RookieReiner 10-13-2011 05:59 PM

oh and I am not calling myself experienced in reining by any means either

4MyHorses 10-13-2011 09:56 PM

Okay, so your trainer/coach should be able to help you with that. If you have to get on a forum then it sounds like you might need another trainer. It's one of those things that's difficult to answer without seeing what's happening because it's not necessarily a technical question. Maybe there is something going on with your horse. Is it physically difficult? Some horses never fold up and drop their heads very well. You need to find someone who really has experience working with reining horses.

RookieReiner 10-14-2011 01:29 AM

He is experienced, like I said I just wanted to know some excercises. Its good to get opinions from different trainers . He has me doing things that are improving both of us but sometimes other trainers and riders have a fresh perspective on things specially from different areas
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4MyHorses 10-14-2011 09:35 AM

Okay, sounds like you know what you're doing. My only other suggestion is go to a forum that actually is geared to reining. There is a site called "" where you might find people who can answer your question. Good luck.

franknbeans 10-15-2011 05:55 AM

I am sure you are probably doing this already, but to help with the anticipation perhaps more circles and less changing? Let her think you are going to ask for a change then at the last second change your mind. That is the ONLY thing I can think of......Good luck!

COWCHICK77 10-16-2011 10:40 AM

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Lead change anticipation is a big issue for seasoned reiners/cowhorses. I am just assuming she is since she is 8 years old.

Your probably doing this already but I will give you my 2 cents...its free :)

Lets say you are circling to the right when you get to the center where you would normally change leads set her up for the lead change, but don't change! You can do a couple different things here, you can either put her back on the circle to the right or counter canter her on the left circle. Or even change her somewhere else on the circle than the middle. But only change when she is relaxed and not pushing on you to change. This anticipation is only going to get worse if you dont deal with it. Pretty soon she will be pushing sooner like the top of your circle!

She needs to learn that you can set her up for the change whenever you want but not to actually do it until you ask for it. I will take my horses out in the pasture and change leads on them out there. I think sometimes we feel rushed in an arena. In a big pasture you have more room and don't feel pressured to get it done in a certain area or specific time. I change on straight lines too.

It's hard hard to suggest anything on your stopping issue without seeing her do it...

Best of luck to you!!!

COWCHICK77 10-16-2011 10:51 AM

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I just remembered! Sandy Collier has a video titled "De-mystifying Lead Changes"

Great video! Sandy is great cow horse trainer that does a great job of explaining this much better than I did above.

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