Teaching Neck Reining

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Mcdreamer, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

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    Now that I've got two really good riding babies, I would love to be able to go trail riding with both of them. Ponying one off the other. I've done a lot of ponying but always on horses that neck reined which made it, obviously, easier. Oliver and Henry are both gaited so their training has been strictly direct reining. It would be a good summer project for me to teach one or both of them how to neck rein. I ride them both in an english hack currently and they both do beautifully in that. How might I go about teaching them to neck rein? Anyone been successful going from direct rein to neck rein? These guys don't know leg cues either which is a double whammy (darn you gaited horse world!) I tend to ride more with my legs then with my hand so this makes this quite the project.
     
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  2. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Just apply the neck rein as you cue with the direct rein and be consistent. They catch on quickly.

    You just teach leg cues on the ground. Use your thumb and press behind your cinch area and release pressure immediately when they move off it. Switch sides of course and repeat.

    I overslept and I'm still groggy, sorry for the short answers, but that's the basics.

    It really will come easy, it's not complicated. :)
     
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  3. Nursestephanie2

    Nursestephanie2 Senior Member

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    Ive always taught leg yields first and then incorporate leg yields when teaching neck reining. As they start to understand what you need, you can use less and less leg for directing.

    Also, start incorporating slight outside rein against the neck when you start then start to minimalizing the direct rein pressure
     
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  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    You teach them to ride,...off your body, by always asking first, with your body, and as soon as they ride off your body, they neckrein. No sense bothering to mechanically teach it because unless the horse turns when you turn, they aren't ready to neck rein.
     
  5. Nursestephanie2

    Nursestephanie2 Senior Member

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    Ive never been around gaited horses nor anyone who rides/trains them so I have a silly question ... why don't they use their legs?
     
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  6. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    If you don't understand how to use your body, don't feel like the Lone Ranger. Most don't IMO. Post if you need help ok?
     
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  7. meljean

    meljean Senior Member

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    Cross your reins so you have both ends in both hands, and at this point use both hands on them.

    As you are walking in straight line, if you want horse to go left, simultaneously open left leg on side as you bring right leg in, and bring reins over to left, low and loose as you reach with pinkie finger on left rein to tip head to left. The second horse shifts to go left, give little more right leg. This is a closing of leg on side, not a kick or tap, as you relax pinkie on left rein.

    Let horse straighten out again, go several steps and then repeat. Straighten out again and repeat. At this point you are not going to be making sharp turns, but gradual moving to one side or the other as decided.

    Then reverse this process and go right, you will open right leg off of right side and close left leg against horse as you move reins to lay against left side of neck, and lightly use right pinky on right rein to tip horse's head to right. Do all of this as lightly as you can, loose reins, pressure of leg, no kicking/tapping against side. Light is the whole key. The second horse begins to head to right, let up with right pinky. Do this several times.

    You can also do 'snakes' as I used to call them when teaching kids in round pen or arena, moving away and to the fence, come a good way into the center and then arc back out to fence repeatedly.

    As horse gets lighter with your cues, begin just laying reins against neck on side you are moving away from as you close that leg on horse, letting opposite leg come off slightly.

    Move into holding reins with one hand, loose draped and bring over to left or right, depending, using legs as written above. Make a sharper turn as you see horse understanding what you are asking. Set up buckets and walk through them, or pick out trees as you ride and weave through them.

    Remember, as light a cue as you can use to get result, and always start out with the lightest one, you can always work up in pressure of any kind as needed, but if you go in like a jackhammer you cannot back it off easily.
     
  8. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

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    Thanks everyone! Most horses I have ridden outside of Oliver and Henry I've been able to ride tackless. So I'm all about moving off the body. Gaited horses are mostly trained that pressure means gait and gait RIGHT now. Any leg just results in faster movement. Pick up the reins? GAIT. I've had Oliver for about 7 years now so he isn't as bad as he used to be. Now that I'll be home I'll be able to work consistently with him. Nothing quite like dinking around with your horse.
     
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  9. bsaz

    bsaz Senior Member

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    This worked for me:

     
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  10. distancewilltel

    distancewilltel Full Member

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    I'm curious about this too.
     

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