Thank you for sharing Waybueno! Very cool pictures!
Very neat pictures. I was just wondering why the horse stop like that, like on their butts? I ride English, and I have no clue about Western riding.
That is called a sliding stop. It is one of the key maneuvers in a reining pattern that a horse and rider must complete. The horse literally is sliding on their back feet because of the speed at which they stop. You will notice that all reining horses wear skid boots on their back feet to protect their feet from being burned in the stop. They also wear special shoes designed for sliding stops.
You can check out this video that shows two of the NRHA's greatest riders executing some those moves.
Flying lead changes, perfect round circles, speed control, spinning, and sliding stops are the fundamentals.
Every single horse is being pulled on like crazy for the stops.... all corners of their mouths and reins are taut.... ugh. I don't think they should be perfect, but my guess is that continued pulling on the mouth will cause a dull unresponsive mouth.......
Your guess would be WRONG. Check out champion Stacy Westfall riding her horse in a freestyle reining competition with NO saddle and NO bridle. Does that look like a dull unresponsive horse?
The horses are being pulled on their mouth because they are stopping or backing. The pressure is released when the horse has stopped or finished backing. And the horses move at all other gaits on a loose rein. It is only during a stop that any pressure is placed on their mouths.
What WILL cause a dull unresponsive horse is when pressure is NOT released when the horse responds correctly. Since the horse does not receive a reward for his response, he learns to resent any bit pressure and gets hard to it. And a horse that is dull to the bit happens with ANY poor rider -- in any event or discipline of riding.