Stopping and Backing Fundamentals
In this video, pay particular attention to how I’m using my hands, legs and seat. These areas are where the majority of riders make mistakes and fail to get good results. Look below the video to read common mistakåes.
Mistake #1. The rider bends his wrists instead of bringing his elbow straight back and keeping his forearm in-line with the horse’s mouth. Do not bend your wrists, contort your arm or take your hand behind your back.
Do not take your hand to your throat, stomach or knees. Guide your hand toward your outer hip bone.
Mistake #2. The rider sits on his thighs and arches his back instead of sitting on the cheeks of his butt (jean pockets).
Shoulders should be directly over the rider’s hips. Failure to sit the stop and back-up correctly will result in you losing your balance or pulling yourself out of the saddle. Sit down on your jean pockets. NOTE: Make sure you are riding a saddle which helps you do this. Most saddles don’t. Not even the brands that call themselves a reining saddle.
Mistake #3. Not getting your horse supple enough. The horse ABSOLUTELY MUST be supple… both vertically and laterally. He must give to the riders hands at all times. Any stiffness in the horse’s poll will cause the horse to open his mouth, resist the rider’s hands and be heavy on the bit.
Mistake #4. The rider hangs steady or too long on the horse’s mouth instead of using the quick “set and release” method of handling the reins.
Mistake #5. When stopping a horse with multiple “sets and releases”… the first “set” is very light… the second “set” is heavier… and the third “set” is heavier yet. This way of increasing the pressure of the incremental “sets”, is what gives the horse incentive to respond the very light first “set”.