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by Downunder Horsemanship

One Rein Stops Only Work if You Practice Them

“A One Rein Stop – sliding your hand down one rein and flexing the horse’s head to the side so that he disengages his hindquarters and comes to a complete stop – is your emergency brake. That emergency brake only works if you practice it and it becomes an ingrained habit for you and your horse. Notice I said for you, as well. Not only does a One Rein Stop need to become second nature to your horse, it has to be an ingrained habit for you as well. If something jumps out onto the trail and scares your horse, and it takes you 10 seconds to slide your hand down the rein to do a One Rein Stop, you’re already going to be on the ground.

When you sit down in the saddle and slide one hand down the rein, your horse should immediately stop. If you fumble for the rein or your horse braces against the pressure, it won’t work. When you’re in a high-pressure situation – i.e. one in which the horse is scared – it has to be an ingrained habit, or there’s no guarantee it’ll work.

You need to practice doing One Rein Stops so much so that when you pick up on one rein your horse thinks the world ends. If you’re on the trail, it doesn’t matter if there are cattle up ahead, if there’s a motorbike racing past or if there’s a kid screaming in a stroller. When you pick up on the rein, your horse stops now. Period.” – Clinton

Learn how Clinton teaches a horse how to do a One Rein Stop in the Fundamentals Kit. Not only does Clinton give you step-by-step instructions on how to teach the exercise, but he also goes over common horse problems and rider mistakes as well as offers troubleshooting advice and success tips to get the most out of the lesson.