First Lesson Taught Should Be Second Nature


November 20, 2016

The single-rein stop, also known as the E-Brake, is a skill taught early in training to both the horse and rider. Since it is a skill, it is practiced on the ground before it is performed in the saddle. This should be second nature to any rider and used only in cases or emergency. But when a horse is too tired or too afraid, his mind shuts down and you have to shut the horse down before panic turns to instincts.

You must control the horse physically, emotionally and mentally to make them safe. Physically means go where I want you to go, how fast and how long. Emotionally refers to their fear threshold and mentally is to maintain their focus. Equally important is respect and trust. Respect is earned by controlling your horse’s space, movement and direction.

Jon gives comprehensive, educational advice that is both entertaining and useful. He explains how horse owner's failures and disappointments are directly related to how little is understood about the horse.

In the early stages of training (that critical period when cues and manners are first learned and before they become muscle memory), timing and rhythem are paramount. Based on their own methods of communcation and being mindful that a horse cannot reason, pressure is relased as a reward and with precision. A difference in opinon does not receive a reward or rest. Discipline is only used when behaviors become dangerous.