Equestrian Life is an online community for horse people.
We bring together horse people across all disciplines, breeds and sports.
We invite you to connect with others who love horses as much as you do.
One rein riding using a halter and lead rope is a great way to break in green horses or to train disobedient horses. Try one-rein riding with helpful advice in this video on horseback riding.
Hi, I'm Rick Gore out here at Travis Equestrian Center. Today we're going to talk about, how to ride your horse with one rein. This is a regular rope halter and basically it's a one rein. So if I need to get on my horse and I need to ride him, I should be able to do that. I always start horses, when I'm starting new, green horses I start them just like this, with one rein and a rope halter. It makes sure my queues are clear, it doesn't confuse him, and there's no way I can pull on two reins and confuse the horse. If I only have one rein I can only pull on one rein. So when people tell me they're having problems with their horse, not stopping, not paying attention to their commands from their hands, I tell them, put a rope halter on with one rope and do some one rein riding. In order to one rein ride, you got to make sure your horse is responsive to one rein. So I'm going to have him flex, he knows to flex because I ask him to. Walk around the other side, as soon as I put my hand up here he should bend his neck, bring his nose back here and flex. That's telling me he's light, he's responsive, he's paying attention to me. Another thing you want to do before you do this is, you want to make sure your horse is desensitized to the rope. So I should be able to throw this over his head without him giving me a whole bunch of problems and being used to it. Because when I'm on top of him and I throw it over his head, I want to make sure that he doesn't react, buck me and get scared because he's never had it done before. So once I get him use to having this rope swinging around, then I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to get on him and I'm going to ride him with one rein. So, he should know how to ride and respond with one rein because I just did, I just showed you how to flex him. So I'm going to throw the rope over his head, which I know he's used to, and I'm going to have him flex, he's going to flex this way. I'm going to throw it back over his head and he's going to flex that way. So now I know he's responding, so I got to be careful, I only have one rein. Obviously it's going to be easier, it's kind of tough to get a horse to back up on one rein, so it's easier to give him a turn. So I'm going to have him turn one rein. Again, he's only getting one queue with one rein from this halter and he knows; good boy, give me a flex, there you go. So, if you could ride your horse with one rein, you're going to be a lot softer when you get him on two reins, because you're not going to be depending on two reins and having his head. So this is a little intimidating for some people, it's a little scary at first. You might want to do it in a round pen the first time, then maybe in a small enclosed arena to make sure that your horse will respond to you. Again, if my rope is on this side, it's easy for me to get him with my leg and this rope to say, I want you to turn this way, and now I want him to stop, so I lean back and I give him a good queue. To turn him the other way, I'm going to need to get that rope over his head, now I can get him to go this way with one rein -- come one, I know, good boy, he's wanting to flex, I know, come on, he's getting there, good boy, hold -- and now I can stop him. By teaching a horse to ride with one rein you build confidence in yourself and your horse. You realize that you don't need two reins, you don't need a big bit, you don't need a bunch of pain and pressure, because if your horse will respond to you and he listens on one rein, he'll always listen with two. It makes you better, it makes your horse better. So get out there and ride with a halter and lead rope and one rein.