How to teach a horse neck reigning.? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Red face How to teach a horse neck reigning.?

I have a 4 year old mare named Andie that i've had for about 7 or 8 months now. She is broke but needs a little adjustments but we're getting there (heehee).

I was wondering if i'm steering her correctly-she can't really 'steer' well so I was teaching her neck reigning. The only problem is, is that when I lay the reign on her neck sometimes she gets it right away and turns or goes the opposite way and I have to correct her. Sometimes she has a tendancy to over correct her self and most of the time we zig-zag across the pasture because (being a young horse) she's sometimes not totally focused on riding at the moment.

Sounds like i'm a bad rider but im not lol Im experianced but with Andie being so young I don't want to teach her something that is bad or a bad habit to have while riding.

Any tips?

"Even the greenest horse has something to teach the greatest rider."-Anonymous
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 03:04 PM
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When you start a young (or inexperienced) horse under saddle you always start with a "direct rein". That means if you want the horse to turn left you "open" (the left rein. The word open here means take that rein and position it more towards the riders knee, NOT backwards.

Now if they know nothing they will bend their neck left (but not follow the neck with the body). That's why good trainers start the horse in long reins - it's called ground driving. That means that the "soon to be rider" stands behind the horse with a long rein in each hand. In this case when they open the left rein they "lay" the whip on the right side of the horses body and "push" the horse left. (do NOT hit the horse with the whip and the horse should NOT be afraid of the whip, just respectful.

Being inexperienced the horse MIGHT take only 1 step left. The handler should provide positive verbal feedback (Good boy/girl) and continue lesson. Eventually horse should trun left and right based on open rein reinforced with whip on opposite side of open rein.

So the rider should start with open rein and instead of using whip on opposite side instead rider use leg on opposite side to move horses body towards "open" rein. That may mean pushing/bumping horse with riders leg on shoulder/at girth. One step is good boy/girl.

Soon horse direct reins (using legs and open rein). When you have that down you can introduce neck reining. This time when you bend the horse left by opening the left rein you "push" the horse to the left using the right rein on the horses neck. Immediately after applying outside rein to the neck rider should apply outside leg to horses shoulder/girth area. It may also help to SLIGHTLY weight inside stirrup (left stirrup in this case) and look inside (left).

At any time if something does NOT work don't get upset with the horse - they're trying to learn a new language and like some people, some horses don't learn as quickly as others. Just go back to the last step that did work until they're consistently doing what you want, then re-ask by introucing new stuff (indirect rein on neck) BEFORE reinforcing with old cues (outside leg).

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 03:34 PM
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Great post! I am going to see if I can find this video that shows all that.

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 03:43 PM
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 03:47 PM
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 06:01 PM
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What we do to teach neck-reining is just lay the rein against the neck and also use opposite leg pressure, and use the other rein as an aid to give them the idea when they don't seem to understand. I have also used a lead rope tied on the neck so when I ride I can pick that up and use that to act as a second set of reins almost for neck-reining. But the same thing applies, if they don't understand I will direct-rein them as a back up. It takes time before they really understand it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 07:40 PM
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There is also a forum on reining in the western riding forum area

Make the wrong things difficult and the right things easy ----- Ray Hunt
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 08:49 PM
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In my opinion, you need to work on her direct reining before trying to move up to a more complex manouver like neck reining. If she doesn't direct rein well, then she won't neck rein well.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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