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Re: [RC] one rein stops- ashlee wakeman - Jim Holland

Although "one rein stops" (as taught by John Lyons) are an excellent
control cue, I found that for Endurance, that was not enough. Unless you
are willing to use a "tie down" or martingale, with many horses, you end
up with his head up in your face if he's excited and you apply any kind
of rein pressure. You want the head to go DOWN on rein pressure, and you
it to be not just a "one rein stop", but a "slow down/calm down" cue.

Try teaching it using the techniques in Article 6 at:


For those of you who have emailed me, Training Article 7 is finally up
at the SERA web site above.

Jim, Sun of Dimanche+, and Mahada Magic

Ed Kilpatrick wrote:

a good technique for doing one rein stops begins by teaching your
horse on the ground first.  with just a halter and leadline attached,
begin by standing on the horse's left side, just in front of the hip,
facing the horse's body.  keeping the slack line in your right hand,
grasp the lead with the left hand about a foot(more or less, depending
on neck length, etc.) from the halter, lightly pull the horse's head
around toward his ribcage, until you can place your hand on his
withers.  just hold it there and watch his nose.  you are waiting for
him to lightly tip his nose toward his ribcage. this is the give.  as
soon as he does, release the rope, and let him relax.  some horses
will circle away from you when you first try this, others will just
plain fight it and refuse to allow their head to be pulled back. just
be patient.  most catch on very quickly.  repeat at least a dozen
times, watching closely for the slight inward tipping of the nose to
indicate the give.  make sure to release quickly.  your horse will
become more relaxed with this as you progress.  repeat on the right
side, again at least a dozen repititions.  when your horse really has
the hang of it, and will flex his neck, give and relax on both sides,
then you can do the same thing from the saddle, with the bridle on.
it is best to use a snaffle bit, but you can do this with a sidepull
or bosal that has a rein attached to each side.  do lots of
repititions on each side, at a standstill.  it teaches your horse to
be very relaxed by getting the tension out of his neck, and also gets
him focused on you. once you and your horse get good at doing this
excercise at a standstill,  the practice moving your horse off at a
walk, then do the one rein stop.  flex him to both sides two or three
times, each time you stop.  you want to do so much of it that your
horse learns to stop and flex with just a light touch on the rein.  it
is important to do it on both sides to keep your horse's neck very
flexible and free from tension.  then work your way up to doing the
one rein stops while at a trot and a canter.  it is more than just an
emergency brake, it is a very valuable tool that you can use to get
your horse light, responsive, and willing in most any situation.  i
dont like to use treats while doing this, or any other work with my
horse, thats just me, though and i am not telling others dont do it.
my experience has been that i get better results by not mixing
business and pleasure.  when my horse and i are working, we are
working.  when the work is done, then we can take a break and have a
snack.       ed

Arabians were bred for years primarily as a war horse and those
requirements are similar to what we do today with endurance riding. 
~  Homer Saferwiffle

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[RC] one rein stops- ashlee wakeman, Ed Kilpatrick