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Bridle Work Cue 2

Here is a good example of "Bridle Work"! This is the "CORE" component to regaining your confidence with horses. There are 8 essential cues that directly transfer to riding under saddle that you can teach right from the ground. We have iPhone apps or if you do not have a smart phone you may purchase a DVD and Pocket Guide to take with you to the arena.

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One-Rein Back up

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How to transition the ground cue to under saddle.

If you have done you homework and you are following the iPhone app tutorials, this is real easy to teach.

The objective to this lesson is to connect the inside rein to the hind legs. In step #1, do not use your inside leg or outside rein. You want to teach each individual component of the back up one step at a time. In the beginning the bend is important to move the haunches, but in the refinement stages you will remove the bend and use your seat not the reins for the back up. Once you have hooked up both the inside reins and transition the cue from the ground, now keep the horse straight and add the leg aid to disengage the haunches. If you know how to use your seat to move the haunches, there is no need to move your inside leg back to the flank. More on this concept in the iPhone Apps.Learn more

One-rein Back Up

check mark (1)
check mark (1) Going Forward
check mark (1) Suppling
check mark (1) Disengaging Haunches
check mark (1) Stopping
check mark (1) Did you warm up
your horse first?
quiz2 Did you review the
Pre-quiz first?

.This is a "BIG KEY POINT!" The rein aid taught in this exercise has three functions:
  1. Pushing the haunches to the outside.
  2. Building a better stop.
  3. Building a better back up by using one rein at a time. 

This module "Foundation" and prerequisite for most of the movements found in Module-III (Haunches) come from using the inside rein to move the haunches-out. Understand that we are connecting the reins to the haunches. Once you teach this cue, you will not have to move your leg back to the flank to move the haunches as it is traditionally taught. We want to make sure that the aid we taught from the ground transfers to riding under saddle.

. Consistently and smoothly going forward at the speed you ask for.
. Establishing the solid "GO" cue. (See also "Leg Cue")
. Softening the head, neck, poll, shoulders, and rig cage
. Start of collection.
. Move the haunches around the shoulders (pivot on the forehand).
. A solid stop.
. A one-rein back up.
Cues and Aids .
. Inside Rein  - In this lesson, it means go forward, softening the head, neck, shoulders, poll and rib cage, move the haunches outside, and back up.
. Inside Leg - In this lesson, it aids in softening by tapping your heel or spur to make the horse's rib cage uncomfortable until he softening the head, neck, shoulders, poll and rib cage to your hands. It connects to the haunches to add impulsion. 
. Seat Bone - In this lesson, you want to sit on the inside, this aids in holding the shoulders in place laterally while you move backwards, then you will transition to the outside seat bone when asking for the back up.
. Outside Rein - In this lesson, it has no purpose yet, but in future lessons you we will teach you other ways to use this aid.
. Outside Leg - In this lesson, it has no purpose yet, but in future lessons we will teach you other ways to use this aid.
. Dressage Whip - Forward impulsion by backing up the leg or verbal aids.
. Snaffle Bit - More direct connection for communication.
. Stopping - Relax, sit deeper in the saddle, stop riding and release your legs, pull back on just one rein.
. Spurs - Not a go cue (See also "Leg Cue"), they reinforce directional movement.

The "Cue/Aids"
 Only use the inside rein. Sit on your inside seat bone to hold the shoulders while you move haunches outside. When you stop asking to disengage the haunches, change and sit on your outside seat bone, then, slightly move the rein toward the shoulder. Do not use the outside rein at all. Sometimes it is hard to get the horse to back up because the neck is too bent. No worries, just keep disengaging the haunches and wait for a step back or even a shift in weight backwards, then quickly reward by releasing. At first you are just looking for the slightest try. You will Exaggerate to teach, then you will refine the cue later in training.


 ,This is a one-rein exercise. Remember, you have already taught this from the ground. Now all you need to do is transition the cue to riding under saddle. Notice that you are using your seat bone aid more and more as a support aid to the reins. This is very important to know because later in future exercises, your seat bone will make or break the lessons. A very important point is not to pull your horse back, but drive him with impulsion. Get his feet moving in any direction then redirect the feet backwards.circle-bent-to-inside

.Always start off with the horse moving forward in a circle. Soften the nose by creating a bend with the inside rein. Have the horse break at the poll and bring the nose closer to the point of shoulder, wait for the horse to give, and don't forget to use inside leg to help soften. "If you use the inside rein to soften, always use your inside leg first as a pre-cue". Then release before you start to move a body part like haunches.


Once the horse is soft, disengage the haunches and ask for one or two steps back.hips-in-in-circle

,Remember not to move your leg back to the flank area! (If you are using your rein to move the haunches, and your seat bone to hold the shoulder from moving. You do not need to move your leg back, this will put you out of balance with the horse and you will not have leverage.)

. Key Point! Sit on your inside seat bone to hold the shoulders then, when you transition to the back up, shift your weight and sit more on the outside seat bone. By shifting your weight (seat bone) to the outside, it allows freedom of movement with the front inside leg to come up under the belly of the horse. Always release when you get a few steps and the horse softens to the bridle. Never end with the horse rooting his nose out. When a horse roots their nose out, he is resistant and will also hollow out his back.one-rein-back-up

The Concept:

To bring the horse to a full stop by disengaging the haunches first, and then asking for one step back without stopping the momentum. You will need the momentum for a fluid flow from forward to a back up. By disengaging the haunches first, you are transitioning the forward momentum of the horse to use that energy to make it easier to stop and back. The key is to get the feet to move in any direction (forward) then redirect the movement to a back up.
.Once you can get the back up on one rein on each side, now try to keep the head, neck, and body straight. The better his back up on one rein, the easier and straighter your back up will be will be on two reins. You do not want to pull the horse back. You want the horse to use his own feet to create impulsion. 

. Your bridle cue will be critical here! Sometimes this is a waiting game. Just keep disengaging the haunches until the horse takes a step back. Don't ask for too many steps at first, as soon as you get a few steps and the horse gets it, he will back up all day for you if it is his idea. 


.When the horse is backing straight, soft, light, and relaxed. 

  , Remember, "not" to move your leg back. Remember, to sit on your inside seat bone to disengage the haunches, then when you transition to the back up, sit up and sit more on the outside seat bone. He will look for the answer if you give him time. Do not use the outside rein. Do not advance to the next exercise until you have mastered this one. Remember, it is important to work both sides of the horse until both sides are equally perfected.

alarmclockTime Frame:
It you have done all your homework this should not take very many days (2-3) The longer you work on it the better and the softer the horse will get.

Common People Problems are:  Common Horse  Problems are: Benefits to this lesson are:
  1. Rider does not break the lesson down into small enough bite size parts
  2. Rider does not find a good starting point
  3. Rider asks for too much bend
  4. Inside rein is disconnected to the hind end
  5. Rider lacks sufficient feel and timing
  6. Rider does not ask firmly enough
  7. Rider is not sitting on the correct seat bone
  8. Rider is too quick with the aids
  9. Rider does not wait for the step
  10. Rider lacks balance
  11. Rider lacks confidence
  12. Rider has fear
  13. Rider does not understand how to transition the cue taught from the ground
  14. Rider uses two reins instead one
  1. Horse stiff and resistant
  2. Horse does not disengage hind end first
  3. Horse is over bent, but feet do not move
  4. Horse too lazy and will not go forward
  5. Horse lacks rhythm and smoothness
  6. Horse keep disengages without backing
  7. Horse stops without backing
  8. Horse rears
  1. Improves balance
  2. Improves attention span
  3. Improves knowledge of using aids
  4. Improves respect
  5. Improve leadership 
  6. Improves confidence
  7. Improves relaxation
  8. Attaching the inside rein to the haunches for later lessons
  9. Improve the back up
  10. Improves that stop

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