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By Fred Hunter

     When focusing on the stop in your training program the initial step is getting the horse’s back soft with a break in the poll. I do this by first making sure my horse can lunge both ways easily in a circle. I then bit the horse up with our Train to Win bit by taking the left rein under the chest back up the girth doing the same with the right rein which I tie together in a knot over the saddle. I begin with slight tension on the reins and move the horse forward in the circle; as the horse becomes comfortable I then tighten the reins by degrees applying more tension until the horse can actually lope circles with his face at a ninety degree angle with the ground.


By Fred Hunter

Let’s talk about three different horse disciplines: Reining, Cutting and Barrel Racing. Each of these events has one thing in common that leads to success which is the stop.

The Reiner is all about the slide which is moving forward through the stop. To accomplish this the horse’s body must be straight with an extreme break in the poll allowing the back to soften thus creating the sliding stop. Note the picture of the reining horse with the tuck of the head, roundness of the back plus the forward motion.

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© Submitted by and courtesy of Fred Hunter

By Fred Hunter

Once you get bend and flex on your horse and can keep a level and correct nose position, lifting the shoulder is not that difficult.

However this part of the four-part equation in the turn is seldom, if ever, used - and when tried it’s generally applied incorrectly.

As we have covered in previous newsletters barrel racing is a direct rein discipline-this means that when you turn a barrel to the right you need to control or turn with the right rein. The problem with shoulders arises with the approach to the barrel or in the turn itself.

The most common way barrel racers prevent the horse from dropping the shoulder is to hold a horse off with the opposite rein. This works - but only for a very short time in the career of the barrel horse. It’s a very unique horse that will work over an extended period using this method. Many barrel horse careers are ended sooner by using this method than by age or injury.