Originally Posted by Black09JK
When riding off pavement as the OP asked I usually try to do most braking with my rear brake. Even if that means mashing it into a skid. I certainly don't want to "reflex" brake on the front lever. If something comes up that quickly off road that forces an emergency stop my first reaction is clutch in, Rear brake stomp. I've been over the bars more times than I'd like already.
Actually, I've recently come to think that the reason a lot of people panic grab the front is that they don't use it often enough. On a recent ride we had a guy go down because he was using the back brake only, and then when the back end started to come around he grabbed the front too hard and locked it up. If he had been dragging the front the whole time in addition to the rear, he probably would've just increased pressure more gradually instead of "grabbing" it.
Just my opinion - I cover mine when I'm riding all out or when I think there could be a surprise. I don't usually cover it if just cruising.