Many riders have heard about the one-rein stop. It is also known as an emergency break for your horse. It is a safe solution to get the horse under control and focused back on the rider. The exercise should be practiced ahead of time and can be taught on the ground or under saddle. Follow these directions if you have a green or unruly horse.

What is a one-rein stop?

One rein is used to flex the horse’s neck to a particular side. It gets the horse to disengage his hindquarters and bring himself to a halt. It is commonly used with a horse who is bolting, bucking, or simply out of control.


1) Riders can begin in the saddle or on the ground. If in the saddle, try to find a round pen to work your inexperienced horse in. Start by walking your horse.

2) Release your connection with the outside rein. Open your inside rein and bring it back to your hip. At the same time, you’ll want to apply a little bit of inside leg pressure to encourage him to disengage his hindquarters.

3) Continue in small circles with steady, consistent pressure. You should make the circles smaller and smaller until he gives.

4) The moment your horse stops you must release your leg pressure and hold on the rein. Reward him with a pat on the neck.

5) After your horse is easily stopping at the walk, try the previous steps at the trot and canter. You should also practice both sides.

This is a great way to feel confident in your horse. By teaching the one-rein stop, you have a plan for dangerous situations that can quickly get out of control. Riding young or untrained horse should be done safety by preparing for all types of unforeseen circumstances.