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.
You need to learn more. Pretty simple. Any braking you don't do with the front is lost braking. You have to learn to read surfaces and how to use the front brake. I use it most of the time to some extent riding both dirt/gravel roads and on trails. I seldom have to mash the rear brake into a skid. Usually if I do have to skid the rear it is controlled,not "mashed". I'm acting, not reacting.
I learned how useful the front brake is early on when starting with a trials bike. Used to play the "lock up" game going down loose hills, watching the front tire lock, then unlock it. I used the front brake when harescrambling too. It is about learning and "cataloging" actions in your brain. Don't do it and you never have it. Learn to do so and you develop usable skills. You don't go over the bars when you learn how to do it. There are times when you don't use it, but most of the time the front brake can be used to an extent when off road. Clearly when on hard pack without a loose surface, but even when it is loose, just less braking... two fingers, no grab.