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Emergency Stop: Rein Aids That Keep You Safe

…need to know both—and when it’s time to use each.

Let’s first make sure you know what to do in an all-out emergency. The pulley rein is the emergency stop to use. It’s a rather abrupt motion that will stop any horse (when done correctly). When you apply this…

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Emergency Stops


The one-rein stop is very useful for stopping or slowing your horse, if he is not running away from you or bucking. It’s not an emergency rein aid, but one you would use routinely. To execute the one-rein stop, simply lift ONE rein from the normal hand…

Trailering Checklist Part 1: What to Know Before You Hit the Road

…check, including tires, wire harness, trailer brakes, lights, and the trailer’s emergency brake. We also pull up mats once a year to inspect the trailer’s floor.

I’m fortunate to have a truck dedicated to hauling so it’s always ready to go. After each trip I take, I go to…

Stop In An Emergency



The Trail Rider ~ May/June 2016

Riding Right


Stop in an Emergency

The one-rein stop is often taught as the go-to aid for slowing and stopping a rowdy horse. But on a straight and narrow trail, turning may not be

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Riding Skills: Emergency Stopping Rein

…a little more of an explanation on the “pulley rein stop”. I do the one rein stop but have often wondered about them falling while being turned if they are running fast. I would like to know more about it. Thanks again! I don’t know if I would ever of…

Truck pulling a horse trailer.

Horse Goals or Bust Part 6: Your Trailer FAQs Answered

…you longer to get there, possibly as much as 20% longer. You’ll stop more often and for longer periods so your horse can rest, and you’ll drive slower than normal. Avoid unloading at rest stops⁠—it is risky, and could be extremely dangerous. (Pro tip: Seasoned road warriors often leave very…

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Emergency Dismount?

…on the circumstance.” In general you are usually better off and safer staying on the horse if it is at all possible. Even teaching the emergency dismount is somewhat controversial for two reasons. First, practicing the emergency dismount is risky and injury-prone; when vaulting off a moving horse, it’s easy…

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The Pully-Rein Stop

…running away with you it might be best to employ the pulley-rein stop.

You won’t use this extreme stopping cue as an everyday method to halt your horse, like you would the one-rein stop, but in an emergency, with nowhere to turn, it just may save your life.

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Issues From The Saddle: Pulley Rein

stops. The emergency stopping technique is known as the “pulley rein.” It is a rather abrupt motion that will stop any horse when done correctly, since you are able to apply significant leverage to the horse’s mouth. The two most common instances when I teach this technique is when I…

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Stop With Your Seat

…The Trail Rider, Julie Goodnight explains how to use emergency stopping techniques.

While it’s important to know how to stop in an emergency, such techniques aren’t the best way to stop your horse during everyday rides. Instead, learn to stop your horse with voice and seat cues and without…

Julie riding her horse, Dually.

Riding in the Moment

…and have a full understanding emergency stopping techniques and when to use them. Learn the one-rein stop for times when your horse is acting up or getting a little frisky; however, the one-rein stop should not be used when a horse is bolting because it could cause him to trip…

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On The Trail Survival Guide

…the bit and your bit to the reins. Goodnight says losing one rein isn’t as traumatic as losing your entire bridle. Still, if your horse isn’t properly trained, you may have trouble stopping without pulling the bit through his mouth. Plus, stopping for repairs during a ride is never a…

Eddie and Julie's husband Rich, with his head bowed, black and white photo.

Dealing with the Death of a Horse

…get a horse to a hospital that could perform colic surgery. Horses sick enough to need colic surgery may die in-route or be too exhausted to survive the difficult and expensive surgery.

Emergency veterinary care for horses can run north of $10,000 in just a few days, so it…

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My Horse Bucks When I Ask Him To Canter

…this case, he has bucked because he didn’t want to go and the rider stopped him. Since stopping is exactly what he wanted, he thinks his bucking made you stop him (and he’s probably right). He needs to learn that when he bucks, he’ll have to work even harder. When…

Top 5 Trailering Tips

…you have safety chains and an e-brake on the trailer. I’ve seen horse trailers come unhitched and I’ve seen the safety chains and emergency brake serve its purpose, stopping the trailer safely without harm to the horses.

Check and double check your hitch and do a full walk-around safety…

Fresh Start

…manage); know how to execute the emergency stop (see my YouTube video on Pulley Rein). Don’t ride the horse as if he is going to spook (because he will), but be prepared to react if he does. Rest in the far corners. After extensive trotting, circling, changes of direction, hand…

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Riding Right With Julie Goodnight

…to use your seat to stop the horse. Learn to use the pulley rein if you need an emergency stop.

When he starts rooting on the reins, you should immediately stiffen and lock one hand on the rein so that he hits himself on one side of his…

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A Safe Handle On The Reins

A Safe Handle on the Reins


By Heidi Nyland Melocco with Julie Goodnight


Learn how to safely use your reins on the trail with top trainer/clinician Julie Goodnight. She’ll explain how to hold and use both rope and split reins, plus how to stop

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Choose The Right Reins

…case of an emergency.



Riding-Glove Tips


Well-fitted leather gloves are handy on the trail when reaching to ride beneath branches.


When should you wear riding gloves? You’ll need gloves if you’re riding a fast-paced trail or endurance challenge,…

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The Long Haul

…How often you stop and what you do at a stop will depend on how calm your horse is in the trailer—you’ll stop more for the nervous horse.

With a 13-hour trip, you’re right on the deciding line to know if you’ll make the trip in one…

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Fear Of Tight Trail Obstacle

…Walk your mare up to the tight opening, and stop. Make her stand. When she stands still, pet on her, and tell her she’s a good girl. Move forward toward the obstacle one step at a time. Stop and praise her at every stage. Step 2. Correct her. When your…

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Behavior Bummers

…— first make sure you know how to perform the emergency-stop cues. (To learn how to safely use a pulley rein, and perform the one-rein stop, go to TrailRiderMag.com.)

Practice a one-rein slow-down technique at home in a flat area with good footing. Turning a horse quickly with…

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Ride Right With Julie Goodnight: Confidence on the Trail

…Balance & Posture in Steep Terrain Safety: Emergency Brake, Stand Still for Mounting, & Reprogramming Spooky Behavior Training: Get Your Horse to Go the Speed you Ask—Every Time Jigging: Stop That Forever Sidepassing Skills Gate Opening & Closing Water Crossing Ground Tie Ponying Much More

Behavior Tip: Watch the

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To Buy Or Not To Buy

…As you watch the process, note that it may not be a red flag if the horse doesn’t load easily, especially if the handler’s body position or loading style stopped the horse from going in. If you feel you’d do anything differently, ask to work with the horse yourself.

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How Do Rope Halters Work?

…Answer: I wish more people would ask simple questions like this– it’s not silly, but smart! When people stop and think about what they fundamentally know (or more likely, what they do not know) they generally get a lot further with their horsemanship. There’s a lot to know about using…

Patches The Pony-Dealing With The Death Of An Equine Friend

…would like some for a bit, then go on a hunger strike, then like something for a while again, then stop eating again. It was getting difficult to see the pony slowly starving to death though she thought she was eating with the rest of the herd. Patches had such…

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QuarterFest and Tennessee Tornadoes

…stay home and off the roads.

Saturday started off OK, but by mid afternoon all the outside programs were forced inside and then even the inside clinics were stopped so that everyone could shuffle down to the basement while tornados threatened overhead. About 35 horses were tied in the…

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Talk About Tack: Rope Halter — Do’s And Dont’s

…ask simple questions like this– it’s not silly but smart! When people stop and think about what they fundamentally know (or more likely, what they do not know) they generally get a lot farther with horses. There is a lot to know about using rope halters, how they work, how…

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In Command And Control

…joy of riding a horse that is so responsive to you that it feels as if his legs were your legs? That you have the power and athleticism yourself to jump big jumps, stop a fast running cow or run like the wind? As corny as it sounds, being “one…

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Fun Games And Exercises

…it’s important to complete a final check of all of your tack—looking at both sides. Check all the adjustments, keepers, connectors, fit, and any points of wear. This safety check may save you from a big riding emergency or may save your horse from undue pain during the ride. To…