How do you teach a horse to neck reign? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-22-2011, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Question How do you teach a horse to neck reign?

I have a 4 year old mare that I got aout 6 months ago. She a really good girl (still working out a few bad habits). Im curious to know how do you teach a horse to neck reign? Right now she doesn't really have good 'steering' so its awkward when I try and turn. Any tips?

"Even the greenest horse has something to teach the greatest rider."-Anonymous
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-22-2011, 09:59 AM
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First, I would get her softer and more supple so she turns better with direct reining. Teaching her to neck rein isn't going to help with her steering problem. It will add more confusion to her. Start with flexing her on the ground and flexing from side to side undersaddle. Also, do a lot of circles and serpentines when riding.

To teach her to neck rein, bring one rein against the side of her neck and leave it there. When she doesn't respond, and she won't, use the other rein as direct rein. That's why she needs to be better at direct reining. With lots of practice, she will learn that when she feels the rein against her neck, you want her to turn.

Everyone should be allowed at least one bad habit, and that's NOT owning a horse!

Mares RULE! Geldings drool!
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-22-2011, 11:28 AM
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As mentioned above, You want to teach your horse to respond to the Pre-Queues. Meaning your horse will learn to anticipate your queues. the rein against the neck becomes the Pre-Queue to the direct rein.

Your horse will begin to anticipate the queues. rather than wait for the direct rein, She will anticipate and make the movement when she feels the rein against her neck. same concept as a horse that anticipates your asking for a stop. When you lift your reins they know you are going to soon bring contact with the bit.

Be consistent in your queues. Each time you ask for a turn, always pre-queue with the rein against the neck and moment later the direct rein.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-22-2011, 06:49 PM
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Like mentioned above you need to establish proper direct reining cues first where your horse follows your direct rein with its face and shoulders,

Then if you want to teach your horse to neck rein you teach them a desired response to a stimulus. Like what was explained in other comments, put the rein on their neck then use the direct rein to show them the response you want. you can do the same thing with any other type of stimulus as well, for example use a clicker and click twice and pull left pretty soon the horse will respond to 2 clicks by going left. The problem with this is that if the horse decides not to listen to the stimulus and they will at times you have no way to make them turn but to pull.

If you want to teach your horse to guide one handed that is very different you start by riding each shoulder with with one of your reins and then making your horse respond off lighter and lighter contact until you can move both reins with one hand and they respond to the contact. To do this you have to develop your horses self carriage and develop your hands and legs to work with the horse in rhythm. All my horses will guide one handed at a certain level and I am always trying to advance that level so if they decide not to work off such light contact I can just use a little more contact and they respond and don't leave me hanging out in the wind yelling turn dang it when I put the rein on their neck and they do n not feel like it. :o)

Get your horse between your hands and legs and then they will guide one handed, you can check out my coaching blog to see how you develop the foundation needed to guide one handed. Rod Miller IPHDA & NRHA Professional
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-25-2011, 11:57 AM
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I find that when teaching to neck rein, the most important part is having solid and cnsistant seat and leg aids. When you start neck reining, you will want to overexaggerate your seat and leg, so that she understands where you want her to go. and then, like usandpets said, use the direct rein to reinforce the neck rein until she learns.
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