Monday, March 15, 2010

The One Rein Stop Re-visited

My barn buddy, Allie's Auntie M, sent me this article on the one rein stop and asked my opinion. Since this is a topic near and dear to me, and has saved me plenty grief, I'll reply here.
Generally, I mostly agree with the article. The one rein stop could be re-named the "one-stride-super-leg-yield-away-from-the-rider's-inside-leg-and-disengaging-the-horse's-hindquarter" but the other is easier to say. The article states: "The rider must know what he is doing, he must know why he is doing it, and he must have prepared the horse with solid training." To which I would reply "well, duh." But yes, I trained Delphi to the one rein stop; in fact early on when Karen Brown gave us our very first lesson, we spent a bulk of lesson time "schooling" the one rein stop- Delphi wasn't being disobedient, we were just "installing" (as Karen put it) emergency brakes on her since she had a history of bolting. But any horse that has even rudimentary training in leg yielding (almost every horse that's been broken in does) can be disengaged-and a disaster avoided- by the one rein stop if the horse tries to buck, jump, bolt or whatever, even without prior "official" schooling of the one rein stop. (This very act saved my tail recently at BFF while schooling an ~18 hand ex-jumper in collected canter when he decided to jump an imaginary six foot oxer and bolt to the gate!) Believe me though, if I'm on a horse that I feel is thinking bolt or buck jump, I'll do several one rein stop schoolings just to show the horse what it is and establish it if needed in an emergency. However, if a horse has a reliable leg yield, he will then have a reliable one rein stop.
For the students of Centerline Training, I suggest schooling the one rein stop a few minutes with Karen guiding you. For everyone else the end-all-be-all final say on the one rein stop goes to John O'Leary of Horseproblems Australia. See his one rein stop article here.


Donna Bell said...

She is a beautiful being and I truly enjoy your inspiring stories. :)

Thank you