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Re: Tailing

Kristi wrote:> 
> I would prefer to leave both
> reins attached to his headstall and use
> a tailing line that clips to the
> reins and slides so I can have direct "steering" for both directions.

I haven't seen anything like this.  I'm having a hard time picturing
something that would slide freely enough to either side yet be stable
enough to give cues without sliding around some more.  Also, when we
tail, we walk slightly to one side of the horse.  If the horse were tall
(like mine) it would be difficult to get the line to slide on the reins
without fouling up on the saddle.

We use a line attached to the halter (a halter bridle) on one gelding
for "Whoa".  The other horse has the line run through the "D"'s on the
Kimberwicke bit for "Whoa" since he is more "enthusiastic".  We taught
the horses on narrow trails where there was no choice of where to turn,
and reinforced the direction they took with verbal commands.  (Right
turn, Left turn, Whoa.)  They picked up on it very quickly.  We don't
normally tail an incredible amount - only if it is steep or treacherous
footing.  They will line drive and tail completely off of voice commands
in wide open areas now.

> I need suggestions on material (seems
> biothane would be light and take up
> very little space when hooked to the
> saddle when I'm mounted). What does
> everyone out there use? Where do you
> get it? I've seen romels in the Sport
> Tack catalog, but no "specific" tailing
> lines in any endurance catalog I've
> looked at.

Biothane is durable, but it is slick when it get wet - nearly impossible
to hold on to.  It doesn't fold up well (stiff).  Since we aren't using
running martingales (training forks), we DO unsnap one side of the 11
foot long reins and use those.  (All one piece (no buckle), biothane
near the bit, web reins with strands of rubber running through for the
grip area, brass scissor snaps to the bit.)  I've seen people use
braided parachute cord and small gauge mountain climbing rope as well. 
Rather than fooling with digging the line out from a pocket or pack, I'd
rather make a cavalry tie (line from halter to a knot at neck) or use
the reins themselves as the tailing line.

I hope that this helps.  If you DO have a great innovation for tailing
that works, MARKET IT!  Endurance is a niche market that welcomes
innovations if they work.  Great opportunities may be knocking.

Linda Flemmer

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