I went to a NRCHA horse show last weekend, just to watch mind you, I wanted a dose of horses I understand.
I saw old friends, got some hugs, and was so happy to be back in my comfort zone, I pretended they were welcome.
I watched a bunch of fence runs and began to feel a twitch in my hands and a funny feeling in my gut. For once it wasn't the PD. It was longing. It was a sharp reminder that my fat hairy mare is actually a finished bridle horse who loves those cows as much as I do.
I was standing at the rail,runs with an old friend and asking about new stuff I was seeing. The horses are running their circles with a low head and loose reins --very reinerly. I don't like it.
A straight up bridle horse needs contact and support from the riders hand. In order to find a neutral position with the spoon off the roof of their mouth, they need to travel with their face on the vertical -? Straight up in the bridle? Those dang cowboys with their tricky terminology.
Every movement is supposed to be directed between the leg and the hand. Signals should take little more than a squeeze of the reins and are limited to about a four inch square centered above the saddle horn. Every movement is supposed to mean something.
|Low head, loose rein on a reiner. Hand gives direction withcues to communicate through the reins to the horse. A good reining horse carries himself correctly and follows the hand itself, with the touch of the reins coming in as a secondary cue.|