'Biting Up'/'Checking Up'
I witnessed this horse at a ranch near ours the other day....as I walked by....with it's head tied around by a rein to the side of the saddle in a round pen....nobody was around. It is a reining barn, with big time trainers. I actually looked at it to board when I moved here. However, I was out of place and couldn't even use their arena for my horses, because their weren't 'reiners'. Thankfully, I found the ranch I am now at.
Back to the subject.....wondering if this is a normal practice in training for these horses? My horses get quite nervous whenever they would pass this ranch. It makes me feel like they sensed something wrong there.
Anyways, I am a witness to this horse that died later that day from a broken neck and it sickens me. What in the world?
Horse dies after controvercial training method | FOX5 San Diego
I know pleasure trainers tie their horse's head to the saddle all the time, for hours. It's supposed to make them soft, but I just think it makes them dead/lean on the contact even more.
I just either stand with them in a halter or sit on them in the saddle and flex them for several minutes every day, and my horses have always been super soft. So I never really felt the need to do this to mine. :/
Just like anything else, done correctly, this method is a very effective "hands-off" method of teaching a horse to give to the bit each way.
I use this method myself...though never in a curb bit as was posted in that link. I also don't "tie" the horse around. I take a single wrap around the saddle horn that gives enough resistance to teach the horse to give, but they can get loose in an emergency. I also never leave the horse alone. I am always within sight or earshot of the horse that's tied around.
There is also a "sweet spot" that is ideal for this method. Tie their head any farther to the side and they learn to lean or they panic and flip over. Tie it any looser and they don't learn to give the way they should.
The only reason I use this method (and I really don't much anymore because I've got more time now) is that it allowed me to do other things like ride another horse or get started on chores while the horse was learning.
It's not something that happens for hours (or at least it shouldn't, even the most well-mannered horse would get tired and lock up by then), but maybe 10-15 minutes on average. Sometimes it only takes 5, sometimes it takes more, depending on the horse.
^^ What smrobs is describing is a technique I read about for training young cutting horses. The guy who wrote it was pretty successful & also rode his horses for fun, so I don't think they suffered much harm from it. I have never tried it and probably never will, since it doesn't match the needs of any of my horses.
I certainly have never heard of anyone doing it to an extreme where the curb shank cuts thru the horse's chin.
I use this technique. I check up between the front legs, to the stirrups, or as smrobs posted. My reins will break away, and I know this because I've had it happen. It's definitely something you have to be careful with, or you and the horse will get hurt.
I have had good results. I often check between the front legs and long trot/lope them around the round pen, and then get on and work them soft into my hand. I've never had a serious injury from it, but there is always that initial "wtf" moment from the horse before they get the gist of what's going on.
I would post pics but facebook isn't loading right now...I'll be back with them, lol
I should also add it's important to only use a snaffle. I would NEVER check up with a curb bit.
Here are other news reports:
Horse Death Blamed On Controversial Procedure
Animal Control investigating death of local horse - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com
I am waiting to here from other witnesses that were with me that day...the horse I saw, wasn't tied too far around to the side....but I don't know where that point begins either....however, the horse was very agitated, walking in a tight circle and there was nobody around.
Horses can fall and hurt themselves at any time; Checked up or not. I do not leave my horses unattended. I can always at least see what's going on and will cut the rein if it doesn't break.
I've only seen one trainer do this, and it was because the horse wouldn't yield to the bit. The trainer didn't leave the horse unattended though. She just walked to the side of the arena to talk with us while she watched the horse.
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