I have a green mare that I haven't ridden all winter, I bridled her up with a loose ring snaffle and worked her neck from the ground. First start on the ground, get her to flex her head around to your stirrup. Initially he may pivot around, hold onto the saddle to help you stay in line with her and hold her nose to the stirrup until she stops then immediately release. Then when she understands that she can pull her neck around with out pivoting. Lightly pull on the inside rein until she gives you her head, when you feel her give it to you and the slack of the rein comes out, release. (sometimes it helps if you scratch where you want their nose to go the first few times) Work it until she gets really good and almost anticipates bringing her head around from both sides. I did this with this mare that I hadn't ridden all winter for 10-12 minutes, she had a really stiff neck! Then do it from the saddle, if she pivots hold the pressure until she stops. I did the same with this mare, then when I asked her to move forward she lunged forward. This is not what I asked for so I grabbed the one rein and flexed her head around until she stopped. Then you move them forward again. I spent the next 45 minutes turning all over the field I was riding just getting this mare to respond to the rein pressure, until she became reasonably lighter. The next two hours turned out to be a great first spring ride. This is nothing new and has been posted by others members in this discussion. I just felt that I would give my experience yesterday as a witness that it works. I really didn't know what side of the barn this mare woke up on, in fact she has known to be testy. However because I can control her neck I am able to confidently do a lot of things with her. Of course this would be difficult to do on the side of the rode, I would find an arena or a large field where you can concentrate more on her response to your hands than on which lane of traffic you are in.
Last edited by Toymanator; 03-31-2010 at 01:05 AM.