A rider has to be able to get a horse stopped no matter the situation. So teaching a horse to stop or 'whoa' is the 1st lesson taught.
(The photo, top right, is a sliding stop by my champion paint mare Ramblin Trash. Photo by Riverbend designs.)
Halter Groundwork, Bridle Groundwork, Bridle Longeing, Mounted
I teach the stop ('flex to a stop' to be exact):
First with the halter on the ground (usually where the horse is groomed). (This is the day to day handling I spoke about in the Groundwork article).
- Once the horse is familiar, I then switch to the bridle and teach the stop from the ground in the round pen.
- From the round pen again, I teach the horse the Flex to a Stop bridled while being longed until familiar; almost bored. (You can see the progression here).
- Finally, I teach and then reinforce the Flex to a Stop bridled while mounted at the walk, jog, trot and then lope.
It's also the 1st lesson I teach students; also for safety reasons.
It offers a peace of mind that a rider or trainer can get a horse to stop.
Flex to a Stop
For a complete explanation on how to get a horse stopped, see my previous article Flex to a Stop or Slow Down or Emergency 1 Rein Stop (E1RS).
Of course the ultimate Flex to a Stop is the Sliding Stop. That's one of the ways I've combined effective horsemanship exercises with my reining program.
For an innovative approach to training and lessons, please contact me.Reinersue