Sign in to follow this  
Smilie

Training A Fearless Trail Horse

Recommended Posts

I copied this, from another site, written by some one that used to be a member of HC, and I think Cheri will not mind if I copy her post on how to create a good trail horse

I agree with what she says. Cheri is a no nonsense type of person, the type that 'walks the talk', having trained horses for the public, dealt with spoiled horses, ect

ALL of us that have been into horses for many years, have practical experience, get rather good at recognizing a true horseman/woman , who we know has experience by doing, rather than by theory or some abstract thinking, never really having trained any horses from the start, ridden those horses, proven them both at show venues and on the trail,No, they make their assumption on one or two horses, trained under the guidance of some trainer, and then think they have achieved the ultimate learning , when it comes to horses

It takes riding many horses, starting many horses yourself, under saddle, and then matching them against their peers, under an impartial judge, or then riding those horses out, under all kinds of circumstances, to prove that your training program is sound

Here are Cheri's words on creating a fearless trail horse:

Super Moderator
This is how we train a fearless trail horse!
It seems that every time I come to this site, there are 2 or 3 or even more questions about training a trail horse to go anywhere and everywhere the rider points its head. Since this is what we do for a living, I thought I would try to explain what it takes and how to go about it.

We have trained nothing but trail horses since we got too old and are in too poor health to train cow horses and reining horses any more. We always rode our cow horses out and they were perfect trail horses and we sold the horses that would not make competitive cow horses as trail horses for many years - about 35 or 49 years anyway. Now, that is all we can do.

It does not take age. We have had MANY 2 year olds that would go anywhere you pointed their heads. I have sold 3 year olds to novice riders that are still perfect trail horses 10 years later. [i got 2 e-mails just last week from people that bought horses 3-5 years ago and keep me up on their adventures. Both of those horses were 3 year olds. ]

'Almost' any horse will make a good trail horse. Some super paranoid, exceptionally spooky horses will always need a confident rider, but I have not had a problem making a good trail horse out of anything. I have made good trail horses out of many spoiled horses, but that takes a lot more skill and riding ability than what many people have. Obviously, the nicer the prospect and the better the attitude, the easier it is to make a nice horse for any purpose. We raise our own prospects for their trainability, good minds and easy going nature. We think novice riders should have that kind of horse because they are 'user friendly' and 'low maintenance'. Those are inherited characteristics.

Horses with 'big motors' like TBs and race-bred QHs and high strung horses also require more rider skill, but they cover a lot of ground and are really more suitable to those wanting to do endurance and long hard rides. If you wanted a vehicle to go fishing and hunting in and drive into the back-country, you would not buy a Corvette or a Ferrari would you? Those 'hot' horses make really fast mounted shooting horses and the ones with speed make barrel horses and other timed event horses. They just require a rider with greater skill.

Here are the best tips and 'rules' I have for making a good trail horse:

1) Obedience is NEVER optional. A good trail horse is nothing more than a horse that does everything 'right away' that a rider asks. Absolute and quick obedience -- 100% compliance without an argument should be the goal.

2) Your job (as the rider) is not to let your horse look at everything new and decide it is OK. That is your job. You should NOT show him that there is nothing to be afraid of. Your job as an 'effective' rider is to teach him that he needs to trust YOU and ONLY YOU -- not his natural instincts. It is your job to teach him to pay attention to his job (doing whatever you ask) and not his surroundings. Your goal should be to teach him to ignore anything he 'perceives' as fearful.
3) I NEVER let a horse look at things, examine things, go up to new things, 'sniff'' things or any of that. If you do any of these, you are teaching to stop and look or sniff everything instead of go on down the trail. The habit I want to reinforce is to go past or through anything without stopping to look at it. If I tell him it is OK, I want him to accept that without questioning me. You can't have it both ways. He either has to become the leader and figure out everything for himself in his time-frame (for some horses that is never) or he has to let you be the leader. I am convinced that I am smarter and know what I am doing and I know where I want to go and I don't really need or want his opinion at all.

If you let a horse look at things, then you are teaching him to be afraid of everything that is new and telling him that things should be looked at instead of ignored. You are not telling him that it is OK to go right past it. I want a horse to ignore everything but me. You have to remember that whatever you let or ask him to do (like checking things out) is what you are teaching him to do. Do you want a horse that is afraid of everything and stops at every new thing he encounters or do you want a horse that goes everywhere you point his head without questioning you? Remember, you just can't have it both ways.

4) When a horse starts to hesitate and starts to show fear, 'ride hard and fast'. Go faster, cover more ground, ride off of the trail and in the roughest footing you can find. All of these things get his attention back to his 'job' and back to you and off of whatever he thought was a big wooly booger.

5) Never ride straight toward something that you can go around. If a horse is afraid of a big tree stump, do not ride him straight toward it. [You are just setting his up to stop and back up. Remember, you are trying to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult and setting him up to stop and back up is not doing that.] Ride past it several times while taking his attention away from the stump and keeping it on you. I like to use 'leg yielding' exercises. I will ride past an object with his head bent away from the object and my leg pushing his shoulders and ribs toward the object. I watch his ear that is away from the object. I know I have his attention and respect for my leg when that ear stays 'cocked' back toward me. I will go past the object, switch my dominant rein to the one nearest the object, will reverse directions TOWARD the object (I never let him turn his tail to anything he fears) and I will leg yield back past it again using my other leg to push him (bend him) toward it. I will go back and forth again and again until he walks right on by without looking at it or veering away from it -- just goes straight on by like it isn't there.

We help a lot of riders get past their fears on the trail. When you have an apprehensive rider that is possibly more fearful than the horse, you cannot expect that person to project a confident 'git-er-done' bold demeanor to the horse. So, the rider has to learn how to ride past their fears, focus on a place way past where they are and ride with determination to that place. You want to concentrate on getting to a place that is far beyond the object that the horse is trying to focus on. If the rider is looking at a 'booger', you can bet that the horse is going to be looking at it, too. Many people 'spook' worse than their horse. They are looking for scary objects down the trail before their horse is. If that is part of a rider's problem, they need to learn to ride far ahead of where they actually are.
We do not spend a lot of time trying to desensitize a horse. A lot of people find this strange. Let me tell you why we put so little faith in this exercise in futility (and why I never post on those threads). You will never be able to duplicate everything that can scare a horse. Even if you did, they would encounter this obstacle in a different place on the trail and it would be different to them anyway. You train a horse to listen to you and you train a horse to ignore anything new or scary. You train a horse to go forward when you ask -- no matter what is in front of them (one of the reasons I keep harping on 'good forward impulsion' ) and you train a horse to depend solely on you. You make all of the decisions and they are happy to comply. The more you take the leadership role, the less they think and worry. That is how you make a good trail horse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am right on board with never letting a horse sniff at everything they are afraid of, checking it out.

I use that counter bend to get by a scary object There are places ona trail, where you can approach at an angel, but there also are places where you have to have your horse go forward, without trying to go sideways away from a scary object. An example"

You are on a steep climb, with trees on the right side, and a drop off on the left. Up on the top of the next rise, is a boulder,/ stump, on the right, at the edge of those trees, take you pick, that could, look like a bear

You can neither stall forward, as the climb is steep enough the horse could go down, esp trying to turn, nor can you have that horse spook away fromt hat rock, towards that drop off.

This is where a bit and body control works for me, although there might be riders confident in doing the same with just a halter

I first ask for the horse's face and poll, while counter flexing him, so shoulder is towards the trees (rock bear), with head towards drop off, and at the same time, I keep forward. The only place the horse can then spook, is towards that boulder and the no drop off side or that trial.

Same works when riding along a road and traffic. If you worry about your horse spooking, then position him so that the only place he can spook, is into the ditch , and not towards that car/truck. If you counter flex that horse, so that head is towards that car and road, with shoulders towards the ditch, the horse can only spook into ditch, but chanes are, he won't spook at all, as you are riding him positively forward, with the horse giving in face and poll.

I also get a kick of people that set up a literal obstacle course in their horse's field, trying to expose that horse to everything under the sun, or leading that horse out, to get him used to seeing stuff

In the end, if you rely on that exposure, versus the body control and respect and trust you have in your horse, sooner or alter you will be in for a wreak, with your horse seeing something he has never seen before, and you without that trust and respect to ride him through that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

where's the one rein stop?

Well, Cheri does have a detailed write up of that somewhere,and it was on this site before. I will try to find it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found acopy of that one rein stop by Cheri

http://myhorseforum.com/threads/one-rein-stop-disclaimer-long.120513/

In case people would rather read then click, here it is:

One Rein Stops

I have had several people ask me to explain how we use the ‘one rein stop’. It was not invented by any of the current famous clinicians. It has been around for a long, long time but everyone that I knew that used it just called it ‘taking a horse’s head away from him’. The clinicians gave it the name ‘one rein stop’.

First, a lot of people think it is the same thing as making a horse ‘yield’ its hindquarters or that every time a horse’s head is taken away from him he should move his quarters in the opposite direction. This IS NOT how we use it. For the stop is just that – a stop. It means that when I have gotten a horse to understand it correctly, you take his head and he STOPS right there. He doesn’t go around and around in circles or move his quarters out. Only a horse that is resisting does that. So he keeps repeating the ‘stop’ lesson until he just ‘stops’.

Green horses are always taught to give their head in a full cheek snaffle with a noseband ‘mouth closer’. When we first teach the horse to ‘give his head’, we gradually ask him to bring his head around to our knee and to relax with it there. When he relaxes, I pet his face and release him; but I don’t want him to move off until I tell him to by ‘closing’ my legs on him. The important thing is that the horse STOPS and does not move his feet.

Older spoiled horses can be pretty tough, especially if they are really stiff and resistant. I have a 9 year old and a 12 year old that I purchased for the trail string that are both in the process of learning to properly give their heads right now. I am teaching them in a little short shanked curb with a three piece mouthpiece. I have found that I can use it like a snaffle bit and I don’t have to ‘out-pull’ them with my old arthritic hands. Occasionally, I run into an older horse that is so resistant and gets so mad that I find it counter-productive to argue with them so I will ‘check’ their heads to each side with a side rein that has an elastic link in it. I usually check their heads to the back girth on a roping saddle and put them in a round pen for a while. I always watch them so they can’t get into trouble. Even if they have one really stiff side, I will check them both directions.

When I am teaching a horse to give me his head, I will also teach him to yield his hindquarters. I want him to know how to do both but I don’t want him to interchange them. When I take his head to the right, if he stiffens and resists, I will nudge him in the ribs with my right leg. That will make him yield his hindquarters and in the process, it will help him ‘loosen up’ the resistance in his face and neck. If he goes around and around in little circles, I just let him. I don’t put either leg on him and just wait him out until he stops on his own. Then, I pet his face and give him relief (a loose rein) and let him stand for a few moments. If you are consistent and don’t give him relief until he stops moving his feet and stops resisting with his neck and mouth, it won’t take very long for him to do just that. If you tighten your leg on the same side, he should yield his quarters and if you bring the outside legs against him, he should make a tight circle.

When teaching the horse to give you his head, you start at the walk. You sit back (not lean back), slide your hand down the rein and then take that rein directly back toward your hip. Take the horse’s head as close as you can to your leg. He will go in circles at first but wait him out and give him relief ONLY after he comes to a complete stop. When he does this EVERY time you take his head either direction at the walk, then put him in a jog and do the same thing. You will find that he learns very quickly to stop and give you his head at the jog. Only then, do you want to take his head away at the lope. Just sit back, slide your hand down the rein and he will probably stop before you get very far with the rein. Just because he stops, don’t give him his head back until he brings it all the way to your leg.

I have found it very valuable to teach a horse to give his head and NOT yield his quarters when you are going to work cattle on him or teach advanced maneuvers like flying lead changes or even good lead departures. If you want to do advanced maneuvers, the last thing you want is for a horse to move his quarters out when you take his head either direction. They have to ‘HOLD THEIR GROUND’ with their hindquarters if they are ever going to learn to move their shoulders independently from their quarters. If a horse is ever going to learn proper lead departures with their hindquarters in and strike off with their inside hind foot, they cannot shift their quarters out when you bring their head to the inside. The correct ‘one rein stop’ really helps a horse learn to give his head without shifting any other part of his body out.

Have you ever worked a gate or watched someone else work a gate and they get their horse to move his hindquarters over to the fence or gate by picking up the opposite rein? That is how you get really ‘chewed out’ if you ride here. How about watching someone straighten out their horse’s ‘back-up’ by picking up a rein? They get a horse to move their hindquarters over to the left by taking his head slightly to the right. OOPS! Nuther big a** chewing here. Your horse will NEVER learn when you want him to move his a** out or when you want him to move his shoulder over if you pick up a rein and some of the time he is supposed to move his hip. Around here, he is NEVER supposed to move his hip out when you take his head. He learns to ‘hold his ground behind’. Then, when you want to start a horse on cattle, you can ‘tip’ his nose toward a cow so he can concentrate on it with both eyes and his hind end will stay exactly where it is supposed to stay.

When a horse has been properly taught to give you his head, much of his resistance leaves and he becomes MUCH more willing to do about everything else you want to teach him.

Using the ‘one rein stop’ to correct a problem horse

If a horse is spoiled and wants to put a hump in his back or gets really unruly, just take his head away from him and make him stand there. If he has been taught to give you his head, that is exactly what he will do. If he has been taught to give his head, no matter how scared, mad or spoiled he wants to act, he will give you his head. You have to teach him before hand. Don’t think you can teach him to give you his head when he is trying to buck you off. After he bucks you off, take him into a small corral and TEACH him to give you his head – both ways. I think you have to do it about 100 times each direction and in each gait before a spoiled horse really ‘gets it’ and knows that you want him to instantly stop moving his feet and stand perfectly still EVERY time you take his head away from him. We have taken ‘cold backed’ horses that had bucked when they were fresh and had them completely quit when they were taught to give their heads. Not every bronc will quit – some are just really good at it and love it, but most spoiled horses will give up the behavior when EVERY time they get their head taken away from them.

Chargy’ horses and really ‘hot’ horses will get quiet and slow down better with this method than any other we have ever used. I’ve used this on many horses that came off of the track, on spoiled barrel horses, run-aways and bolters and they have ALL gotten better with this schooling that any other that people before me tried.

A horse that instantly gives you his head is like riding a horse with an ‘off button’ installed in him. When you feel him brace and get ready to blow, it will de-fuse about any situation.

Horses that have ‘tough mouths’ and require a lot of ‘pulling’ to stop them, will lighten up greatly by teaching the ‘stop’. They just cannot brace and push against a rider using one rein to take their head away. Once they have found out that they get their head back when they stop, they stop so much more willingly.

Is there a down side?

I know there are people that think it makes a horse get ‘rubber necked’ and he won’t properly ‘follow his nose’ when he has been taught this move. This is absolutely NOT TRUE. Horses get rubber-necked when a rider pulls too hard and ‘over-bends’ the horse when he is trying to get the horse to turn. When you apply the ‘stop’, you sit back, slide your hand down the rein and take his head WITHOUT putting any outside leg on him. When you want him to turn and ‘follow his nose’, you take his head –ever so slightly in the direction you want him to go. You simultaneously bring your outside leg against him. IF he does not turn exactly where you are asking him to turn (or circle) you DO NOT pull harder or get any more bend than the slight amount it takes to ASK the horse to turn. You ‘reinforce’ the directive ‘to turn’ by applying more pressure to the outside with your leg or spur or crop or whatever it takes to MAKE him turn. You DO NOT PULL HARDER or make him bend more. That is where ‘rubber-necking’ comes from – not from teaching a horse that you can take his head away from him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that explanation is very unhelpful for beginners I find. and, just for yuks, I've taken a horse's head away from him without saying yield the hindquarters while he was bolting and he just got faster--they hate that. I put my inside leg on and then he crossed over behind and couldn't bolt anymore. he "respected" my leg. the one rein stop is important, but in retrospect I don't care for cheri's explanation.

very simple, when the hind legs cross ( yield the hindquarters) it is physically impossible for a horse to rear, buck, or bolt and the horse is respecting your "leg".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a REALLY good two post by cherri. That one rein stop is something i teach to every horse i train,it has saved daughter & I from having horses take off with us. Doesn't alway defuse my horse from being hyper hot & jigging, IF i persist at it long enough he will finally settle and walk on a loose rein.

Guess i need to be consistent with that one rein stop, until he stops his hot jigging ways,something to work on this spring with him...i'll do the stop 5 or 6 times then just let him carry on with jigging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that explanation is very unhelpful for beginners I find. and, just for yuks, I've taken a horse's head away from him without saying yield the hindquarters while he was bolting and he just got faster--they hate that. I put my inside leg on and then he crossed over behind and couldn't bolt anymore. he "respected" my leg. the one rein stop is important, but in retrospect I don't care for cheri's explanation.

very simple, when the hind legs cross ( yield the hindquarters) it is physically impossible for a horse to rear, buck, or bolt and the horse is respecting your "leg".

Think they need to know both when head is taken away. My horses will yield hindquarter when head is taken away if inside leg is applied,BUT they also know when no leg is applied, that when heads taken away it means STOP YOUR FEET NOW.

So think horse needs to know both ways about the head being taken away,can be done both my riding horse do it. And it works in OMG situations too its been put to the test a lot over the years. Been tested over the last 11 years on my gelding and 13 years on my daughters gelding both were started as 2 year olds, ones 14 the other is 12.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that explanation is very unhelpful for beginners I find. and, just for yuks, I've taken a horse's head away from him without saying yield the hindquarters while he was bolting and he just got faster--they hate that. I put my inside leg on and then he crossed over behind and couldn't bolt anymore. he "respected" my leg. the one rein stop is important, but in retrospect I don't care for cheri's explanation.

very simple, when the hind legs cross ( yield the hindquarters) it is physically impossible for a horse to rear, buck, or bolt and the horse is respecting your "leg".

Nick, you will see that cheri separates taking the head away, from taking the head away and dis engaging the hind quarters. Knowing Cheri at least as well as I know you, via the internet, having read her numerous concise and knowledgeable posts, knowing the problem horses and not just starting horses with no garbage, that she has trained,I have to respectfully say that Cheri's experience and hand on, goes way beyond what you or even I can ever hope for

I had the luxury of not needing to work with other people's horses, thus could train those I raised and handled correctly from day one. I did buy the odd problem horse, but I never trained for the public like Cheri, fixing other people's horse mistakes

When one reads various internet sites, and ahs nay extended experience with horses and the horse community in general, it is very easy to then identify those that are real horsemen, those that have worked with hundreds of different horses, learned to deal with many man made vises on those horses, plus trained horses correctly from the start.

Sorry, but Cheri has a solid track record to back her stance, having trained for the public for decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think they need to know both when head is taken away. My horses will yield hindquarter when head is taken away if inside leg is applied,BUT they also know when no leg is applied, that when heads taken away it means STOP YOUR FEET NOW.

So think horse needs to know both ways about the head being taken away,can be done both my riding horse do it. And it works in OMG situations too its been put to the test a lot over the years. Been tested over the last 11 years on my gelding and 13 years on my daughters gelding both were started as 2 year olds, ones 14 the other is 12.

Correct

The horse has to know when to just give that head and stop, and when to move hips while head is taken away.

The helpful things for beginners to learn, is to teach these things to a horse Before you get into that emergency situation, and to have them down at the walk and trot, before ever trying it from the lope

A horse also has to isolate (and rider also) rein aids from leg aids. If aleg is not applied, and head is taken away, that horse then just stops. If a horse stops and continues to give his head, he ain't going anywhere! Reins control the horse from the withers foreward, legs the rest. If I add aleg, back of the cinch, then that hip has to also move. If I add no rein cue, other than asking for a slight vertical give, and then add that leg cue, back of the cinch, horse has to keep head and neck straight, and move hips

I have seen horses that always had their hips disengaged in the one rein stop, and they will learn to stop crooked,

I used the one rein stop on Smilie, when she was just two, and we went over that disturbed nest of ground hornets. She was ready to buck, blow or bolt, as she was being stung, but I was able to take her head away, while she listened to 'whoa' and step off. Would not have been possible if she just spun those hips around, continuing to be stung, without myself being able to step off

Back to the drawing board, Nick, open your mind and think again.

Again, as I was exposing Smilie to different venues, as a two year old, I was at a clinic , where a participant was riding one of her horses, while the other was tied to the trailer. The big door to the arena was left open

The horse tied to the trailer, still saddled, got loose and came charging back in, stirrups flapping. Again, I took Smilie's head away and told her 'whoa' I did not want her spinning around on her front end, but to whoa, stand and watch=period. Other older horses were bolting and bucking, yet my two year old stood there, giving her head.

Ride 20, 30, 50 more horses, Nick, and then come back and re evaluate waht Cheri is saying

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'v trained other horse besides my own, so there for have experience with other horses with less then good previous training. Have also be in situations where had my horse, not had that one rein stop firmly ingrained the out come would of been different.

This situation happened before i had a GOOD foundation on him,one rein stop wasn't real well established. Had a loud 4 wheeler approach us coming right at us. As he came down the hill towards our horses who were standing off the side of trail,he gunned his 4 wheeler as he was standing up hot rodding it by us. I had my daughter with on her own horse i told her take his head away now,she followed my directions and her horse who was a 4 year old stood firm never moved.

My horse got scared and went bolting side ways with head bent around and lost his balance and proceeded to fall..i had to make that split second decision to bale off...which i did. That deal there scared the crap out of me i was lucky i didn't get hurt or killed..i also learned early in my riding how to do an emergency dismount,saved my butt that day.

We rode home with no more problems,but i spent the next 3 weeks teaching my horse the one rein stop and when his head was taken away those FEET STOP ALL MOVEMENT PERIOD. He learned that skill at the walk, trot , lope and gallop...once he knew it and knew it well we then headed back out on the trails.

The next time we ran into that idiot on his loud 4 wheeler, my horse stood feet planted with head bent around confident in his rider, that it was ok and no need to panic. So they NEED to know the difference between when its time to plant those feet and when you want them to disengage hindquarters. NOT fun baling off a running side ways horse,don't imagine it would be any better on one spinning in circles.

My daughter was fine because i had taught her how to handle her horse, and how to do that one rein stop,SHE didn't ride out on trails till she had that one rein stop down at all three gaits. HER horse had a solid foundation on him,i was confident that he would stand firm no matter what. By the way she was 10 years old when that happened,to see her up on that horse with his head bent around standing stock still while a loud 4 wheeler went by and her with a big grin, because she handled a bad situation like a pro.

So doubt that head bent around with not disengaging hindquarter, wont defuse a bolt or buck,i have proof it works 100% in all kinds of situations IF your horse has been taught the difference between the two. I maybe don't have cherri's experience or as many years behind me, but i'v been around the block a few times in my horse training adventures.

And my horse being hot hyper and jiggy is my own darn fault i'v aloud it put up with it,don't put in the effort to fix it, i have the tools in my tool box to do so.

Edited by Jazzystar66

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be honest, while I do teach body control, able to ask for a horse's head, I have never in the past actually put a one rein stop on any of my horses, before riding them out.

I just got correct good hind end stops and ingrained obedience to 'whoa'

The one rein stop is an emergency stop, to have if you ride a horse out, before you have him really broke, JMO

Since I showed in reining, I was more concerned with a good hind end engaged stop, that was square, and horses that have a lot of one rein stops done, often immediately pop out a hip, or throw their head sideways, soon as contact is taken up

For me, anyway, good body control and good basics, eliminate for the most part, even the need for the one rein stop per say

I most likley gave these examples before, so bare with me.

When Smilie was about three, I was riding her out in the hay field next to us, and passed a pile of tarped square bales. As we rode bey, a coyote came leaping out from under that tarp, along with several bales. Sure must have seemed to Smilie like she was being attacked! She took a few leaps forward, but when I picked up on my reins, and told her 'whoa', she stopped.

Another time, riding down the road towards home, on a loose rein, I saw an old car approaching, but did not bother to take up reins, as Smilie is very good in traffic

That old car barely passed up, when the driver gunned that motor, causing that old car to give off several loud backfires. Even I felt like we were being shot. Again, Smilie bolted ahead a few strides, while I was still gathering up the reins. When I sat down, said 'whoa', she stopped, even though I had yet not achieved any bit contact

Thus, I rode in the past, with a lot of just solid basics on my horses, and never conscientiously even put that one rein stop on a horse

I just did things automatically. For instance, when Cody got 'studdy' a clinic, focused on some mare, I just took his head and spurred those hips around hard, for nothing more than to get his attention back on me and work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When i take their head away for a one rein stop i don't allow them to swing out their hip,unless i ask for them to move those hips over. Being my daughter was young and on a young horse i felt that one rein stop was a good thing to have on her horse. We don't show other then doing some barrel racing at local shows. Both horses though can do a reining pattern i'v never been one to use voice commands much, so there for neither horse does the whoa command under saddle. They both are soft in the face light touch and they give that's with slack still in reins,mostly are ridden off leg & seat.

Daughter horse did for a time ride pretty much off bit when daughters legs were to short to give those leg cues,she used her seat but it was hard for her to grasp that concept. So had to make due for a time with just using hands and bit daughter is a special needs kid so things need to be simple to understand...she gets the one rein stop.

I did teach my mare to to stop with a whoa, and it did come in handy when i had bridle break and bit dropped out of her mouth,as we were running down a dirt road with 3 other riders. Said WHOA and she slid to a stop i then rode her home with reins under her neck just so she thought i had her controlled. She was not an easy horse to ride tended to be broncy she got better with more time BUT i could never let down my guard,so when that bridle broke, it could of been a prefect time for her to do her trick bronc. Had body control of her, she did it all and very sensitive but squirrely. Was also horrible to saddle danced around and sometime bucked off saddle before i got cinch on and snug,would also break what she was tied too,so tieing her to saddle wasn't an option.

Took her to a trainer who worked out some of her issues,but he told me she would never be a horse anyone could ride. So there for would be hard to sell,i never sold her and still have her to this day she's 29 years old and been retired for 5 years. She did teach my daughter to ride when she was 3 years old. Once daughter got older and bigger that came to a screaming halt,chardonnay no longer would let her ride her. She pretty much only ever let me ride her over the years, except the trainer to this day really don't know why i kept her but i did. Do i miss riding her not really, nice having a horse i can trust not to unload me when riding in a group of 3 or more horses. Horse never dumped my daughter off but she made it clear she didn't want daughter on her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, respe t to leg is very important, and why reiners use a lot of the counter canter to teach it

Since all reining patterns have that lead change at center,, when changing directions, it doe snot take long for a reiner to associate a lead change, coming across center, and changing directions

Thus, the counter canter is used, to teach obedience to leg, thus coming across center, changing directions but NOT letting the horse change leads

Many people also use that hip disengagement, one and the same with taking head away, so that the horse, unasked by any leg, moves that hip automatically in the opposite direction in which the head is taken away. You do not want that!

For me, shoulder control and good basics are every bit as important as that one rein stop, and if you have that, no need really for teaching a one rein stop per say

A horse naturally follows his shoulder, not his nose,,, until we teach him to follow his nose with his entire body in correct alignment

Hense, we see horses without shoulder control, where the rider had that neck cranked in one direction, yet the horse is still running off in the opposite direction, where he wants to go, following those shoulders

It is also why avery basic exercise, to determine 'guide ' in your horse, is so useful.Guide means that horse has learned to stay evenly between both reins.

Thus, just set up a single pylon. Ride around it first at a walk , then at a jog, (speaking western), one handed, and on a loose rein, expecting the horse to track a perfect circle all the way around, staying equal distance form that pylon. IF he drifts in or out, DO NOT correct him with the reins, but rather with your legs, thus bumping outside shoulder if he drifts out,, or using inside leg to push ribs out, if he drifts in, without picking up on those reins.

If a horse is obedient to legs and soft in the face, , if he gos to spook at something on his right, say, very easy to block his spooking left, by using left leg, while keeping forward

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IF you have your horse so they respond to leg and seat and they are soft in the face,yield shoulders & hips when asked. Can leg yield both directions give their heads with a soft feel. Can give vertically to bit & laterally all this with a soft feel,then one can defuse a spook with not much trouble.

Yes the one rein stop comes in handy, but if you have control of their body that also helps with getting control of a spooking horse. I have found ponying my 2 year olds really helped. They get exposed to being out on trails and being with a confident trail horse helps keep them calm. This is how i get all 2 year olds used to packing a saddle & bridle,gotta have a REAL good pony horse. They learn to cross water and get used to traffic and 4 wheelers.

Once they are broke to ride, i'll saddle up my pony horse, pony the 2 year old out two hours,then switch horses ride the 2 year old and pony my mare back. Them learning to pony another horse is good and they are used to ropes being all over their body, so having a rope get under their tail isn't an issue. I don't always have full body control when i'v done this but have enough control that i shouldn't get into trouble.

Then after that i ride them out alone and they do real good. I used my daughters horse to pony my gelding as a two year old, he had real good body control and i was already riding him one handed. All the 2 year old i did this with had a good foundation of ground work and had been saddled prior to ponying them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never ponied young horses as part of exposure, when starting them under saddle, but have ponied lots of young horses, fitting them up for halter.

Yes, you need a good pony horse, and youa lso need that horse being ponied to be respectful and under control. I used to long trot those yearlings, in the ditch along the highway, so 100% control is absolutely needed. What worked in that case, was to use two lead shanks, a plain one, an done with a stud shank run under the chin, for 'just in case

That horse being ponied, feeling very fit, learned to travel at a trot, with slack in those elad shanks, head at the shoulder of my pony horse, and not biting or kicking or any other extra 'horseplay'

Far as riding them out, I got them pretty broke around home first, and then could ride them along a road, ect

Of course, when our youngest child was just 5, I ponied his horse on trail rides, esp crossing rivers, and also ponied lots of pack horses over the years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the horse being ponied has to be respectful and lead good and no monkey business either. I just found it helped to pony them as 2 year olds,i didn't like riding those young horses with other peoples trail horses. I wanted them to learn the right behaviour on the trail,not how to be spooky or refuse to go through water. When i ask them to go through water,or whatever it might be i don't want them to go are you sure?? or no i don't want to right now.

They learned to go through brush mud and climb banks,with a horse who did all this with NO questions asked. So when i rode that 2 year old on the way home ponying horse i used to pony them. They did all i asked climbed up those banks went back down and went through water and back through brush. So they had the experience before i rode them solo,when i did the solo ride i found they had confidence in me and trusted where i told them to go.

In part i give that horse i used for ponying helped with that to some degree..but these 2 year old already had respect for me as their leader so that is a HUGE part of my success.

Edited by Jazzystar66

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all learn to use what works for us, and there is certainly more than one way to train a horse

Having said that, I found that if I really got then going well, good body control, respect, etc, then I could ride those young horses out successfully first time, and they also learned to rely on my judgement, and not another horse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the people that I really respect in terms of riding capabilities are the people that have a really good seat. they have their horse's back under them, and their brain. in other words the respect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I miss Cheri's posts. She always had such good advice.

pM me , and I can direct you to the horse site she still posts on-same great advise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree 100% with Cheri's post about making a good trail horse. Obedience is #1 in importance if you want to be able to ride your equine wherever you want to ride it and not worry about a meltdown, spook or runaway.

There is not way to desensitize to everything that might be encountered on a trail ride. There is just no way. How are you going to make sure you can control your equine if you get into some bees or wasps? Are you going to get a nest so that you can expose your animal? Not a good idea for sure! I don't care if my mount will go sniff something that scars him as long as he doesn't try to leap around or bolt. I am not interested in falling off a cliff or getting scraped off by a tree because he doesn't like the looks of a stump in the path. He needs to keep going in the direction I am asking him to go, I will not make him interact with the scary object. I won't even let him look at it! I have not tried tipping a nose away while pushing him towards the stump though. I might try that on Blossom the next time she sees teeth in a stump. She really dislikes stumps for some reason! She has learned that whirling around is a bad idea and results in a lot of work for her but she will still swerve and/or stop if I don't pay attention and "see it" before she does.

Just teach the animal that you are trustworthy and a good leader and there will be very few problems.

One the subject of a one rein stop, I also agree with Cheri. It is very good to teach. Since I also teach a leg yield there is little confusion about what I am asking for. That "taking the head away" works very well for a spoiled horse that jigs and dances if it is applied consistently, every time the horse stops doing what you asked and tries something else. I like to interchange the stop, a hindquarters disengagement and a pivot to keep a mind engaged and off of whatever is making him jig. Anything that makes him pay attention to me and not whatever else he wants to pay attention to is a win for me.

Just like everything else, if you do it too much after it is learned, they will anticipate. I think that this is where the rubber neck comes from. That and inconsistent cues. I do a one rein stop the same way, every time but I only rarely test it once it is learned. I don't want my mount to think that I am asking for a nose and a stop every time I run my hand down the rein, that is inconvenient. I want them to know that I want a nose at my knee and a whoa when I sit deep, run my hand down the rein and say whoa. I want a nice square stop when I sit deep, pick up my reins and say whoa but I don't want a nose at my knee. I have not had a problem with anticipation or confusion so I guess I am doing it OK at this point. Working with mules has taught me to be very consistent with cues or have confused and angry mules!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this