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tripping & falling

for all you physics buffs, here's my 2 bits about the tripping thing:

1) you can't PULL a horse up by his mouth any more than you can pull
yourself up by your bootstraps

2) if you yank on a horse's mouth, he will put his nose up & out,
hollowing his back and lowering his withers, which happen to be attached
to the front legs.  if he's falling when you do this, therefore, you
will inhibit his ability to rebalance by impinging the mobility of his
front end

3) if you maintain CONTACT with a horse's mouth, and SUPPORT him when he
stumbles, he is able to do the following:
- he forms an arch with his spine from hind end through withers and neck
to bit
- he presses against the reins with his mouth
- your contact becomes stronger, redirecting that pressure to a more
rearward place on the horse (through your arms/body/seat) provided
that's where YOU are, and not leaning forward
- he flexes his arched spine upward, thereby elevating the withers and
allowing him the ability to recover his balance and get his front legs
back out in front of him

keep in mind this means you have to start out in the right place and
with some light degree of contact, or the deceleration will toss you too
far forward to be of assistance to him.  the faster you're going, the
less likely he can get himself back.

it ain't about reflexes.

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