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Exercise to Stop Pulling On Your Horse’s Mouth 1-3 Strides Before the Jump

Submitted by member: Jennifer

I just love your site. So many great tools.  I find myself watching them over and over again. I am showing in the hunters and equitation. My biggest problem is that I tend to pull 1-3 strides out.  How can I fix this problem?  I liked your answer to the circling problem, and thought it might crossover to my pulling problem.  I have used that exercise a lot, but still find myself pulling.  It’s definitely worse when I have a good pace going.  I tend to do better when I am going slower and then move up to the jump.  Thank you for your time!

Answer by Bernie

I have been successful in the past with some riders that have this same issue.  It’s a simple solution that may work for you. Hold the reins between your thumb and index finger. This is called a driving rein.  You can see a visual on this on  Go to Fundamentals of Flatwork, Intermediate, and click on the chapter that says “Following Arms”.

This produces a very soft contact with the horse’s mouth.  In other words, it’s pretty hard to pull hard holding the reins in this fashion.  Give that a try and let me know if it helps.

Video Recommendation:

Fundamentals of Flatwork - Part 2 - Intermediate - Bernie Traurig

Fundamentals of Flatwork – Part 2 – Intermediate
Bernie Traurig
If you have the Basic level down, you and your horse are ready for more of Bernie’s proven supplemental training techniques. In the Intermediate level, you’ll learn how to put the polish on your performance by blending these potent methods into your everyday training program. You will learn how to build on the fluency with which you and your horse have come to communicate. For most horses, mastering this level will be sufficient to perform well in any show ring.
Running Time:  59 minutes and 6 seconds

View Video

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Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

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