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*peeks in from English-land* - TOF and Western disciplines

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  • *peeks in from English-land* - TOF and Western disciplines

    I've just been having an interesting conversation elsewhere about turn on the forehand and some Western disciplines, specifically Cutting and Reining.

    If you ride/train either of those, is a TOF something you teach your greenbeans? If so, do you use it here and there as necessary to remind the horse about moving those haunches?

    If you don't teach a TOF, why?
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

  • #2
    I sent a mule out to a reining trainer to get started under saddle this year. TOF was just one of the many wonderful skills he came home with.
    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson


    • #3
      Both of mine were started with TOF in the first 30 days, as part of a basic education. They go english and western and it is a very handy skill to have - especially on the trail!


      • #4
        There are 4 different parts of the horse that you need to be able to control to do reining manuevers. Head & neck, shoulders, ribs and hips (TOF) and I teach a my horses to be proficient at moving all these parts or they won't be able to do things like lead changes, spins and stops. Most of these are taught within the first 60 days but I will continue to use them forever in their riding and training.
        RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
        May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
        RIP San Lena Peppy
        May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


        • #5
          I ride reined cowhorse and also do ranch horse versatility & obstacle races. I cannot think of a reason not to teach or put a TOF on my horses. It's necessary in RHV/OR for gates, back throughs, side passes, etc., and generally to check that they are moving freely on request. I don't use it specifically in the cowhorse shows, but that doesn't mean it's not necessary overall.


          • #6
            I barrel race, and I teach TOF to my horses. I need to be able to move them where I want them, and to move different parts of their body. I like mine with lots of "buttons".


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for all your replies - they were as I suspected (and hoped!) they would be

              This question came about as a result of a discussion on another board where a poster said a trainer wouldn't teach TOF to his cutting (maybe reining, doesn't matter) horses because they might accidentally do a TOF or start "turning over their shoulders" while in a pattern/on a cow

              that progressed to (hence the real reason for the post) "they don't teach it because it's not something you have to do in a pattern"

              I just wondered if there were any REAL cutters/reiners who thought that I know enough about those areas to know there's a lot I don't know, but even that logic seemed really, really off.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                I've heard a few respected trainers (Richard Caldwell from the working cowhorse side, Jane Savoie from the dressage side) say that once something like a TOF or "disengaging the hindquarters" or any like exercise is understood, there's great value in not going back and drilling it again and again. Those exercises by definition take a horse away from the "over his hocks" stance that a cutter will need, in particular.

                That's different from saying they never teach it in the first place, however.


                • Original Poster

                  I couldn't agree more. It's not like shoulder in or trotting or cantering or half pass where you work on those things to become better at them. IME, teach TOF as a means to an end, and come back to it IF you're having trouble moving the haunches around for whatever purpose. Teach it, teach the concept, done. It's not a continual tool.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    If you are going to compete in any trail class your horse had better be well versed in TOF. Many obstacles require it.
                    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                    • #11
                      I'm guessing TOF is turn on forehand?
                      Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                      My equine soulmate
                      Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                      • Original Poster

                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        • #13
                          JB, cutters are quite different than most other western show disciplines. Cutters that I knew didn't go far beyond the type of handle on their horses that would enable the cutter to do a quick training correction if the horse mis-reads the cow, then let the horse go back to concentrating on the cow. That is different than the 'willingly guided, listen to my rider' philosophy of most of the rest of the western world.
                          Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


                          • #14
                            My horse has done it before, but I doubt he's actually been trained with a "button" for it. lol. And I certainly haven't trained him to do it, as I don't know where to start!
                            Originally posted by katarine
                            I don't want your prayers, tiny cow.
                            Originally posted by Pat9
                            When it's time for a horse to go to a new person, that person will appear. It's pony magic.


                            • #15
                              I'm not a cutter or a reiner, or even a roper.
                              I have a real ranch.
                              I spent 2 hours this morning cutting actual cows out of a real herd in a pasture so I could AI breed them.
                              I've roped a wee bit, and will continue to do so at brandings.

                              For handling a (loose) cow, your horse absolutely MUST know how to shift his weight back and turn over his haunches. This is SO important that I can get people that might teach their horse that they never want horse to offer turn-on-forehand while ridden. I don't think it's right, but I can get that people might train a show horse that way.

                              The horse also has to know how to face the cow, and move in a leg yield, if you are ever trying to move the cow somewhere. (A cutting horse is defense only, they're not really supposed to push the cow anywhere, just keep it from going back to the herd.) You can direct a cow more accurately when you are pointed directly toward the cow, and any horse I've ever had needed to know how to turn-on-forehand before I ever asked for leg yield.

                              But if you go to a branding, and you can't get the horse to step over with his haunches (a step or two of TOF), you are quite handicapped.
                              If your horse isn't in a straight line with a weight-loaded rope, you're putting unnecessary strain on the saddle and the horse. (Not to say you might stay still and dallied up, sideways to a rope, in some particular predicament.) But you can't effect 'getting straight' by turning on the haunches, without either tightening or loosening the rope. The rope is attached to the saddle horn, the saddle horn is pretty much anchored over the withers and front feet. You have to get your horse straight by moving the horse's HIND feet, so you can keep control over the rope.

                              You really don't want to over-tighten a rope, the other end of that calf is attached by another rope to another horse- so if you tighten it either the poor calf 'levitates' between you, or you dislocate legs. And if you loosen the rope, the calf can get loose.

                              Now, reining...that's another thing altogether. Modern reining is so full of hyperflexed/ rollkur-ed horses and bang, banging on curb bits that I can't watch.
                              I want a cowhorse that's super sensitive, that will stop on a dime, do a rollback into a gallop, flying changes and stay quiet. But if I'm working cows, really, that long, sliding stop? The cow will have gone around you a long time ago. A sliding stop is all fluff. And the fast reining spin is just silliness to me. A fast reining spin puts the horse on the 'wrong' pivot foot- if you look, it's like a pirouette on the wrong lead, with the wrong bend. They do that so the spin can go really fast. But someone long ago asked Ray Hunt why his horses didn't spin like reining horses, and his answer was simply that he'd never ask a horse to turn like that if he was trying to control a cow. If you want to look closely, watch a bullfighting video- the horses spin DARNED fast and get the heck out of the way of the bull's horns, and they spin like the 'working cowhorses' do- exactly like a dressage pirouette.


                              • Original Poster

                                I want to come spend a week on your ranch
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                • #17
                                  Anytime, JB!
                                  My bestest ranch horse is an OTTB. I gave $1000 for him in 2009, spent about 5K more than he was worth at the time...but now in learning to give him what he really needs, I have learned a TON about horsemanship, stockmanship, and stockdog handling. And about my marriage- so really the horse has been priceless.

                                  And I'd love to go riding in North Carolina, especially foxhunting. Now I have a horse that I think could do it without losing his mind!


                                  • #18
                                    I've been working with my guy on TOF. It's sloppy but we're getting better.
                                    We could all take a lesson from crayons some are sharp, some are beautiful, some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they still learn to live in the same box. Unknown.


                                    • #19
                                      My paint gelding is a primarily a hunter, but I trail ride him western, showed him once in a WP class (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...pics-30!/page2), and did ranch sorting twice with him. I train all my horses to do TOF and TOH and it came in very handy in ranch sortying when working the middle because you have to be able to move your horse's body just right to block the cow.


                                      • #20
                                        Whats with all the thumbs down for every post on this thread? I think the thumb down needs to go. Keep the thumbs up.
                                        I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                        Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.