It’s hardly a new concept, but it happened to me again. I met someone who found out I ride and train my horse. The first thing she said after, “How cool” was “Last time I rode a horse I got thrown. I haven’t ridden since.” You would be surprised how many times and how many variations of this theme I have experienced, inspiring me to write this short article. Every horseman or woman should know and share the one rein stop with their friends before they let them ride.
The one rein stop is surprisingly simple to learn. It is so useful when a horse gets pushy. It can save the life of a novice rider. To employ it, the rider simply needs to reach down toward the neck on one side of the horse, grab the rein, pull it quickly to her thigh on the same side, while at the same time pressing into the horn or pommel of the saddle with the opposite hand and sitting back into the cantle or back of the saddle. This simple maneuver makes it very hard for a horse to buck or race away from its rider. Most horses will stop immediately. A few will even get a look of amazement that amounts to “how did that happen?” on their faces.
This simple move can prevent a runaway horse, help a novice rider learn that 'stop' is always available, and in so doing not only protect riders’ lives, but also prevent people from falling into the “I never rode again” category. If you care for your friends and want people to remember, “wow that was a great trail ride,” instead of “it was the most terrifying few minutes of my life,” please learn and teach the one rein stop. It is something every rider needs to know.
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