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[RC] bitting/training for control, ponying, etc. - Ed Kilpatrick

excellent advice from all on these subjects.  this is how our forum should work.  penny, i loved what you had to say about training.  i preach it all the time.  i had the good fortune to attend a three day clinton anderson clinic last february, and it was the best time, money and effort i have ever put into horses.  i have been able to fix several problem horses since then, some of mine, and some others as well.  the one rein stops/ lateral flexion, when done right,  will solve so many problems when used as a basic training method.  if you have had problems with horses that rear, run away, wont slow down when you want to,  dont like to cross water, ditches, etc. and spook at objects,  then get started with this very simple, but very effective method.   it will save you so much grief.  also, do the necessary ground work to get your horse to yield his hind quarters, front end, head and neck,  then all of this will benefit you in the saddle.  like heidi said about ponying,  a well trained horse should move mostly from seat and leg cues, and heck yeah, you can neck rein in a snaffle bit, if you have taken the time to really teach your horse what to do.   i will add this about ponying, on our trip out west, the mules in the pack string had what i call a fuse,(someone mentioned this) a short length of light cord, that would keep the pack string together, but would break under a little bit of strain.  the down side to that, though, was that one mule learned that he could lean back on the lead line, brace his feet, and break the fuse.  then he could stop to graze, wander off, or just stop and goof off.   i said that to say this,  if you want to pony a horse, then do enough work in the arena with both horses so that they know what to do.  like someone said, you will, at some time get a rope under the tail,  so teach the horse to deal with it, and not spook or run off.  teach the pony horse that it is not ok to pull back and get away.  you still have the option to drop the lead line in order to avoid trouble, but dont let the pony horse decide what trouble is.          ed