nick

Inside Leg, Outside Rein

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Well I guess different instructors do have different methods. Just look at all the ones who think a horse's nose should point to his chest. I'll just stick to Podhajsky's teaching.

What instructor thinks that!!!!!. If the nose is behind the vertical, that is a major fault, western, as it shows bit evasion. Once a horse gets behind the vertical to any great degree, your reins are useless.

Are you speaking of Rolkur?

A horse also learns to drop behind the vertical, if he is held with constant strong rein pressure, and gets bit relief no other way

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A good portion of the dressage trainers climbed on the Rolkur bandwagon. Fads have come and gone in the horse world forever, usually to the detriment of the horse.

Edited by jubal

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yes that's true. many of them are still on the banned wagon although it was officially forbidden a couple of years ago by the FEI after a ginormous petition signed by horse professionals and the general public made the elephant in the room no longer possible to ignore. difficult to enforce what's happening at the home barn though.

a crowd at a grand prix st. George competition in m√ľnster gathered to watch Edward dahl warm up a couple of years ago. several of them went to the stewards with reports of violations of the ban, to no avail. and then the crowd took action into their own hands and literally booed him out of the warm up ring. he packed up his horses and left without having ridden in a single class. that's the kind of thing we need to see more of--an educated public who is willing to put so much heat on the authorities that it overrides the influence of the big sponsors.

fortunately that seems to be happening with more and more spectators taking videos with their phones. one went to an official and showed him something he'd taped just ten minutes before--horse with hannoverian nose band tied so tight that the tongue was hanging out and turning blue.

Edited by nick

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Behind the vertical is a fault in English too.

And as Smilie says, it can be a result of constant bit pressure, which brings us right back to the original point and what I was saying about "giving" the inside rein.

Holding on constant bit pressure - holding a solid contact with no release - can result in behind the vertical/behind the bit, above the bit, head tossing and leaning on the bit - none of which you want your horse to be doing. My trainer teaches to give the inside rein if the horse starts doing any of these things, and add pressure on the inside leg to reengage the hindquarters. All of these can also be signs that you are using the wrong bit.

Correct English contact, correct, is not pulling on the horse's mouth or yanking the head in to the chest, it is merely resisting the forward energy to redirect the horse into a more elevated frame. The elevated frame positions the horse better, biomechanically, to jump a large obstacle, perform the advanced dressage movements, etc.

Again, I'm no expert on western, but the western horse's energy is directed lower, and I suspect that positions the horse better biomechanically to turn after a cow, perform advanced reining movements and do the things we expect a western horse to do.

Additionally, you don't ride a horse on contact on the trail, because doing so also directs the horse's vision. I actually suspect the dressage vertical headset has something to do with where you want your horse to be focused on the battlefield (remember that dressage comes out of cavalry training) - that is, where he's putting his hooves. YOU are looking at the big picture, and you want your horse to be worrying about not tripping, not stepping on a wounded man, etc. When jumping, the horse's attention is directed to the going and then the contact is released - if you watch a jumping horse, you will see the head go up and down) three or four strides from the jump to permit the horse to assess the height of the jump. They have to move their head quite a bit to do that because of how their vision works.

On the trail, you ride on the buckle unless you're asking the horse to do something - for example if they're getting spooky/anxious and you need to give them something to think about other than what they're spooking at, even in English tack, because you need your horse to be paying full attention to their surroundings. Which is another reason western people don't ride on contact - your horse needs to be watching the cows, right? ;).

Could some western people weigh in from their side of the equation and correct anything I've got wrong?

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well I try to follow classical dressage principles and also chase cows and ride on a cutting machine to help with our progress. on cows I ride with some contact to tell the horse which cow I want and after contentrate on staying out of the way. on the cutting machine it's backward and follow the flag, and then I also concentrate on staying out of the way. there are only three horses currently riding on the cutting machine, mine (lusitano), an arab and a quarter horse. they all move very, very differently. my horse is built uphill so goes back and then up and over, the arab is still learning what this is all about, and the quarter house is down, down in front like a cat. on the cutting machine none of ride with contact except to correct body position and stops.

nothing like it for getting a horse on the haunches naturally. and in either of these activities you will be going nowhere riding on the inside rein.

Edited by nick

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I didn't object to light contact. I didn't deny that the outside rein needs to keep the horse from falling in. I objected to the statement that the inside rein should not be used in the turn and should "give." I don't ride with the strong contact most dressage riders use. (At least it looks pretty strong.) My horse has a very light mouth. And I don't use a dropped noseband or a tight caveson. Anybody can espouse any "methods" they want. What they can't do is say that's the only way to achieve the proper outcome.

For the 25+ years Podhajsky was at the Spanish Riding School, his methods were "classical dressage." I don't know how their horses are trained now but for me, you can't get any more classical than his teachings.

Edited by jubal

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my motto is "whatever works" as long as it isn't to the detriment of the horse. I met this a guy two years ago who was severly handicapped on his entire left side, yet rides "M" jumpers. he and his horse have worked out a way to keep the balance (and in Germany M courses are upper level, complicated turns). he was riding in a snaffle at the one clinic I witnessed and it's a real partnership they've got going. he doesn't have much use of his left arm or leg, so they've figured it out somehow.

Edited by nick

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Yes, Any well trained horse can be ridden one handed, on a loose rein going down the trail, and that is all my husband requires,as he just trail rides.If his horse can ride one handed, leading a pack horse, that is good enough for him.

Certainly,, English horses, ridden in battle, had to ride one handed, while the rider used a sword or fired a gun.

Yes, cutters are ridden on a loose rein, or as at NCHA level, with the reins completely dropped, as that horse moves so fast, reading the cow, the rider is just hanging on, along for the ride, once he has cut the cow to be worked from that herd, and put his horse on it

This is still not quite was is required of a western horse, ridden one handed on a loose rein, and considered a horse totally up in the bridle. That horse is expected to be able to perform all maneuvers he learned in a snaffle, ridden two handed, with contact as needed, during that time, then one handed, on a loose rein, mainly off of seat and legs, once up in a curb.

That means he keeps frame, collection, stays correct running patterns, including lead changes,ect on that loose rein. It is also what allows a demo, like that of Stacy westfall, doing that free style reining pattern tackless, thus no reins at all That horse still ran fast and slow circles, changed leads, did sliding stops, rollbacks, spins, -no inside rein, outside rein to keep the horse correct

This is done by allowing the horse to learn to guide,staying correct, and fixing him only when needed, then giving him a chance again to stay correct without that rein support.

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I get the impression that with a really well trained cutting horse the rider has one job: Tell the horse which cow they want ;).

One thing I've found is that when I grew up in England, most people taught their horses to neck rein.

In America, English riders are soooo above that and it drives me nuts because it's useful. Even if you only do it when you need to on the trail and ride two handed most of the time, it's just a handy thing for a horse to be able to do. It's easy to teach, too. You can direct rein with one hand, but neck reining is so much easier if you're, as Smillie mentioned, leading a pack horse, or opening a gate, or getting something out of your saddlebag, or taking a picture... I just don't get it. It doesn't mean your horse forgets how to direct rein! Sheesh.

But it really is what works. The differences in styles for various purposes are things people have worked out work, but each horse is different and you need to adjust things.

I once rode a horse that was trained to be ridden by a rider who had very limited use of his legs. That horse went entirely off of rein and voice. It was a very strange experience and I think I confused the poor guy more than once ;).

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Intimate body language. But neck reining IS the outside rein.

Edited by nick

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Nope. What I mean by outside rein here is holding the contact on the outside rein and pushing the horse into it. Neck reining is using the rein on the neck only, without the bit involved.

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Intimate body language. But neck reining IS the outside rein.

neck reining is more then just working off of that indirect (outside rein ) to turn,a lthough that is as much as many recreational riders need.

To neck rein, is better described as working off the indirect rein, as it involves, the horse trough training, to have learned to work off of that neck rein, BUR while keeping correct body position and alignment in all maneuvers, also collection and topline, if asked to do so

Not to difficult to have a horse learn pretty quick, to turn off of that neck rein, quite another to have a'bridle horse that truly neck reins-LOL! They don't get to the latter, unless they have been taught progressively, starting with a snaffle, two hands, legs, seat, hold and drive, and RElease when correct, allowing the horse to then perform correctly , using only the neck rein, seat and legs, working on a loose rein, one handed and 'fixing' only if needed

Since the reins are held in one hand, you really don't think of outside and inside rein, as mach , as having a horse learn to stay evenly between those two reins, so the reining hand, never needs to move more than an inch or so from mane center

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Right. When I said it was easy to teach, I'm talking about the horse learning what it means and moving off of it. Which is as much as you need with an otherwise English-trained horse when your goal is to make it easier to ride with one hand when you need to and retain the ability to control and steer the horse.

Obviously it's a lot harder to master - just as it takes a lot of work to get a dressage horse up to the higher levels.

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Right. When I said it was easy to teach, I'm talking about the horse learning what it means and moving off of it. Which is as much as you need with an otherwise English-trained horse when your goal is to make it easier to ride with one hand when you need to and retain the ability to control and steer the horse.

Obviously it's a lot harder to master - just as it takes a lot of work to get a dressage horse up to the higher levels.

Agree!

For my husband, all he needs, far as neck reining, is to be able to ride one handed, guiding his horse down the trail

Since I show, my show horses have to truly neck rein, as two handing only for a split second, has you DQed

I took a judging clinic, and a situation was given, that happened. At a major NRHA event, there were 5 judges. 4 judges placed one horse very high, as he had a great run. 5th judge DQed him

Of course there was a protest. Video review showed what those other four judges missed. The rider two handed the horse, for only a split second, in the far corner of afast circle

Heck, you get DQed for too many fingers between the riens!

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and oz, you don't ride. right? I wish you all the best with being able to breathe on the way to visit elmer.

That was not only rude, but extremely uncalled for. Grow up.

I try to stay out of my horses face as much as possible. If he needs a little help, I'll pick up a rein and guide him along with using my legs. If I'm on the rail and he's gawking to the outside, I'll absolutely pick up on that inside rein to get his attention back to me. I never want to have to "hold" my horse in a nice bend with either rein, they should stay collected between my hands and legs without having to be in their face constantly. If I'm riding a greenie and say, turning to the left, I might tilt his nose to the inside just a touch and put my left leg on him more towards the girth to get him to bend around my leg, and my right (or outside) leg farther back to control his hind end and keep it from falling out. Who knows, maybe I was taught wrong by some standards but it's always worked for me.

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