See the Video here


The English Training and Coaching systems and Curriculums, teach that the front strap of a Horse Rug should be undone before the Back Leg Straps. I have always disagreed with this for I always have the Welfare and safety of the Horse in mind over Humans, for your Letter completely highlights the many disturbing cases I meed in the ‘Real World’…the Coal Face of the Industry.

I have indeed, had to re-educate, many psychologically ruined Horses that have accidents with the Rugs around the back Legs.

Hi John

Hope you are well. I have a question for you about a childs pony. He has a fear with things behind the saddle. If the girls legs go back he will run, she has come off many times from this as he practically bolts she has managed to stop him a couple of times with a ORS.  If her legs go out wide the same thing can happen and if she goes to get off quick such as doing games at PC. When I questioned them about things that have scared him, they said that one day when they were taking a rug off he ran off with the leg straps done up.

Thanks again for your time.

Hi L.

It was only recently that I discussed this subject and put forward my views, which were that I prefer to protect the future psychological well being of Horses rather than designing systems to protect People.

The English Systems teach that if the Front Strap is undone first, the Handler is far safer if the Horse suddenly moves and the Horse gets a fright and runs. Well of course, that is precisely what the system is designed to achieve, for they do move and they do run and especially with English Discipline People who don’t know how to go down a Rope and will ensure the Horse does move as they pull on it’s Head and make it spin.


Having said that, I have been contacted by others with experience in the British system, who say that they teach the release of the rear straps first, the front straps second and the BELLY straps last.

To leave the Belly Bands or Straps to last will see the Horse ‘Flank Roped’ as in a Rodeo, given the slightest movement of the Horse which causes the Rug to start sliding and the Horse start reacting. This too will put the Humans in more serious Danger of severe injury and ensure that the Hose will suffer immediate and ongoing psychological Problems as a result of the Rug causing the Bucking and then wrapped around tPreview (opens in a new window)he back Legs where the Horse thinks the Rug is a Predator and is chasing them.


  • If a Horse runs with the Rug wrapped around the Shoulders, damage and accidents can happen
  • If a Horse runs with a Rug wrapped around the back Legs, damage and accidents can happen…..but
  • In my experience, the Horse with the Rug around the Neck does not suffer ongoing psychological damage whereas the one with the Rug around the back Legs, does. This is because the ‘Flight from Fear’ in the Horse, comes at the back end of the Horse, not the front end.


The British system is designed to limit injury to Humans, but does it? I would argue that there is not much difference in real terms if a Rug slips, accidents are likely to happen and I would submit that straps around the back Leg could cause the Human to be kicked, but let’s say that the system is right and there is less chance of a Human being injured if it is hung up on the back Legs……but then now go ba

ck to the real World and read the Letter. Yes…. she has come off many times , and more.

3 Year old


18 Month Old Andie

I have seen Horses lose their Life as they are sent to their Deaths because they can’t be successfully ridden or handled after the Back leg Straps. So my preferred approach is to Train Horses for the worse scenario and don’t ‘cop out’ by training for the People rather than Training the Horse. It is a very simple thing to do, it is not ‘Rocket Science’ and I can teach anyone to do it.

Here is a recent unbroken Horse that I started and as part of the normal preparation of Horses to face their Lives into the future, I simply expose them to the stupid systems and questionable Humans they may meet. You are looking at just one more of the 30 add on benefits of Leg Restraints Training of the Starter,

So to your question L. You have proven that we can positively influence such Horses and go towards repairing their fragile Minds but the second element is where you have now run into trouble. To fix the psychologically damaged Horse, no matter what the trigger or the affliction, we then have to replicate the work of the Trainer via the Owner and to provide CONSISTENCY.

Part of the repair mechanisms of these Horses is to first prove to them that you can do precisely what they are afraid of, then add the removal of the ‘flight from fear’ WITH CONTROLS and the rest is History. So now the hard part is for the Young Lass has to do it and unless she can do it….100% of the time, not 99%, she won’t succeed. At the least therefore, the Child must be taught to NOT make any mistakes, not to do the things that detrimentally trigger the Horse and to think hard about risk management of the Horse. Until such time as she is old enough to shut the Pony Down 100% OF THE TIME! Best of Luck.

Here is the fact…..start young Horses with a combination of the old systems with the new and all of the so called ‘impending dangers’ with Horses, disappear and such events NEVER happen.

I am listening….are You??