Showing posts from October, 2011

"On the Bit" - Getting Started

“ON THE BIT”—FIRST PHASE: LONG AND LOW KEY POINTS: ·       Flexing ·       Loosening ·       Lengthening FIRST STEPS: LOOSENING In this fist phase, the main priority will be to release any tension in the jaw, neck and poll, and thereby relax the topline, which will encourage the horse to naturally adopt a long and low frame on his own as opposed to an inverted and braced one. WHAT DOES THIS ACCOMPLISH? To accomplish this, one uses a single, simple rein aid: the “ Direct (Leading) Rein. ” The basic theory behind using the leading rein to get the horse stretching and relaxed in his topline is based on a technique advocated by Boucher.   He understood that, in order to raise the head and invert the topline, the horse has to brace the muscles on both sides of the neck as a pair.   Bringing the head to one side with a gentle leading rein (he employed a lifting hand for this) disengages those paired, braced muscles and allows the head to lower, which in t