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[RC] kinda sorta stupid question about lateral flexion/one rein stop - k s swigart

Amy said:

I'm so confused, please let me know if I'm going to
be OK if I still turn my horse in a circle, or if I need
to learn lateral flexion and the one rein stop instead.

Both "turn the horse in a circle" and the "one rein stop" are "emergency
brakes" for horses and one works about as well as the other (depending
on how wide the trail is).  Although the turning your horse in a circle
usually works whether you teach it to them or not (some horses will keep
going straight whether you have turned their heads or not, so if turning
in a circle doesn't include a leg cue, you may just have a horse running
away without looking where it is going).

Neither of them, however, is a particularly good way to regularly stop a

Just like in a car, it is far better to teach your horse to stop using
the regular brakes (i.e. stop from behind), and after you get the
regular brakes working, you don't need an emergency brake.

Another thing you can do is teach your horse to ground tie.  Then you
can do the "one rein stop" by dropping the rein on the ground (horses
that properly ground tie will screetch to a halt when a rein gets

Barring that, you can teach them to stop when you say, "Whoa" (this one
has the advantage of working even when you aren't actually on the

There are lots of ways to teach a horse to stop when you ask it to, you
could even teach the horse to stop when you say "trot."

However, turning the horse in a circle works to stop even horses that
haven't been taught it....assuming that they go in a circle when you
turn them in a circle (not all horses do, but most of them do).

Orange County, Calif.


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