Nature of The Beast

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The Nature of The Beast Two Hands – One Rein At The Time Written by Gwynn Turnbull Weaver.- Photo by Lesley Deutsch “The hackamore brings with it a unique feel all its own. For those who have never used one, the mechanics of how it functions are both simple and complex. Though both hands are used to operate the mecate, it is often emphasized that the rider only apply pressure with one or the other hand but not both at the same time. Even when stopping straight or executing a maneuver that is balanced and strait in nature, only one or the other “rein” is used when directing the animal to do so. This unique feature, a technique often used even in the snaffle bit by horsemen in “the know” is not simply a suggestion for hackamore users but a must. Horsemen who use both hands incorrectly in the hackamore will quickly build a brace into their mounts and reverse the training they so want to advance. Once again, the use of one “rein” brings the total picture into play. For example, applying pressure with one rein, when asking for a maneuver that requires the animal stay straight requires the rider to balance the cue with all the necessary supporting postures to help the horse to remain straight. Understanding that we do not merely sit on their backs like so much dead weight and pull them around with our hands is never more clearly communicated than when we tackle the use of the hackamore.”