Teaching Neck Reining

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

  1. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    8,206
    Likes Received:
    24,941
    I've been working on training Sparky to neck rein for about the past year. He neck reins beautifully when you ask him to go where he wants to go. Not so great when it's the opposite direction of where he wants to go. :rolleyes:

    If I was able to ride more consistently, I think he'd be fine. He will ride off my seat but when he's not getting ridden regularly, or when he's got different people riding with different skill levels, things get slack.

    What I've done is I lay the rein on his neck first and follow with a light direct rein. I've needed less and less direct rein as we've worked on it but he still ignores it if he feels like it.

    My job has really gotten in the way of my riding! On the other hand, I can now afford my horses.
     
    meljean and Mcdreamer like this.
  2. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,710
    Likes Received:
    9,444
    There's no reason that gaited horses CAN'T learn leg cues, but a lot of people don't teach them for 2 reasons (neither of which are good):
    1) A lot of gaited horses are marketed towards people who don't actually know how to ride so they just pull the reins to steer
    2) The ones that show are often ridden with the riders leaning back to an extreme level, with their legs sticking out in front of them, because having bizarrely placed weight makes the horses gait more extreme

    I'm from fox trotter land (hence my username) and the way most of these horses are ridden is pretty deplorable. Not all of course, but way too many...

    So... there's not really a reason besides "because a lot of gaited trainers don't feel it's needed".
     
    Mcdreamer likes this.
  3. Alyssa Hughes

    Alyssa Hughes Senior Member+

    Joined:
    May 17, 2018
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    388
    This is my life right now...
     
  4. Nursestephanie2

    Nursestephanie2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    1,173

    Good to know. Id get on one, give some leg, and probably left in the dirt.
     
    foxtrot likes this.
  5. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    2,838
    Yes! And it's so funny. Oliver was a show horse so his "excuse" is #2. Henry came from a farm that "specialized" in gaited trail horses. So essentially they strapped a saddle on him and sacked him out.
     
    foxtrot likes this.
  6. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    2,838
    Yeah, I learned the hard way a few times.
     
  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    25,130
    Likes Received:
    15,491
    Wowsers. But for sure, it's true for many. I got on a gaited horse some years ago and was completely shocked that the horse didn't react to ANY leg or seat aids. None. It was like sitting on a horse made of oak. REALLY weird.

    It's true in all riding sports, pretty much, even a lot of people new to dressage. Even a lot of instructors who think dressage is 'patterns' and a head set and a tack change.

    Years ago I went to a local barn for a lesson. There were about 8 or 10 people in the lesson. The instructor pointed to me and shouted, "This is the ONLY person in this lesson who is using her LEGS!"

    A day later, I got a lesson with a different instructor. After the lesson, she slapped me on the shoulder and said loudly, "You gotta learn to use your LEGS!"

    That's how very different the expectations of different instructors are.
     
    Alyssa Hughes likes this.
  8. lucky_pine

    lucky_pine Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    12,557
    Likes Received:
    14,587
    The Walker I ride is trained off leg cues. Can ride him bridleless just fine. Adding leg doesn't make him go "Omg gait faster," his gait cues do. I don't understand this whole idea that cues to gait are the same as going faster. That's just poor training.
     
  9. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    2,838
    The gaited world is a dark abyss of crazy. I don't ride in the gaited world. Never have. I just happened to get a rocky mountain horse and had to learn by trial by fire. Previous owners showed him. And this is just my personal reflections but it seems like showing gaited horses, there isn't much use in teaching them leg cues and to move off the rider's body. They just want them to gait. And they want them to look really pretty doing it.
     
  10. meljean

    meljean Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    12,882
    Likes Received:
    23,203
    Years ago when the Walking Horses were registered in Saddlebred registry, you had cross over of the trainers, and they rode the walking horses with leg cues, as well as loose reins and nice equitation. That disappeared since the 70s or so.

    Heritage breeders are working to change as much of it as they can, letting the head nod with the gaits, and using good form, and legs.

    Helen Crabtree wrote that she was asked to teach proper walking seat, and a dad came up to her afterwards and thanked her, saying his daughter was having so much trouble without knowing proper equitation.
     

Share This Page