Natural DORmanship: stopping

I remember one of the DORs friends asking where the stop button was on the horse. The DOR giggled about it a bit, she thought she should make a sticker to put on the horn of her saddle that said STOP.
The easiest way for me to help you train your DOR at this stage is to give directions to the DOR and then helpful hints to you in parenthesis.

How to Stop
You need to be able to stop your horse using one rein (I really dislike the DOR pulling on both reins, it is hard to tell if I am supposed to back up or what she really wants)-this is your horses emergency brake. To accomplish a one-rein stop, slide your hand down one of the reins, usually the inside rein, and then bring your rein back to your thigh (At this point it is important to make sure the DOR is asking for a halt and not a turn. If they don’t bring the rein around far enough just make the turn they are asking for. Your DOR may be a bit frustrated for a bit, but they will soon figure out what they need to do), remember to stay sitting square and to look down (All of that stopping you did when the DOR looked down in the walk training will come in handy here, it shouldn’t take them long to figure this out). If this was an emergency stop you would also place your other hand on the saddle horn, this creates a power position and helps keep you in your seat. This will cause your horse to flex their head around, thus disengaging its hindquarters. Once your horse stops release the rein immediately, that is your horses reward for stopping (If your DOR does not release when they should you may have to use a level 4 correction such as biting their book, to make them realize they have held you there for too long). Remember to breath, sit your seat further down in the saddle, and stop “riding” the walk.
Once you are able to execute a one-rein stop, you can move on to the two-rein stop (I am not sure why DORs feel the need to use a two-rein stop when we mind with a one rein stop). To cue for a halt, close your fingers and tip the bottom of your hands toward your belly. The horse should stop as he feels the backwards pull on the reins.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Cheryl Ann said...

Dear CJS,
I LOVE your posts! This is just what I need as a beginner rider! I will try to remember your points when I ride Beauty again! Thank you for your insight.

Rambling Woods said...

I think my emergency brake was falling off..It really is quite involved. And as always Jack, you are the man..or horse..anyway..a good teacher...


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