Originally Posted by BarrelRacingLvr
Your horse DOES NOT need a shanked bit...we teach all our horses to neck rein in a snaffle.
This is what I do and has worked great for me.
When I ask with my leg I add rein and when they move I release the pressure. I do a lot of direction changes as well. I keep doing this until I can start using less leg as a guide. I also work them on the ground and using my fingers on their necks, when they move I release. I find it does help when I am asking with the rein.
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No one says they NEED a shanked bit. But it's easier to interfere with the other side of the mouth if you use a snaffle. A curb bit can offer a less confusing feel in their mouth. I've taught a few horses to neck rein in an english hackamore or a halter before too.
Ideally, you don't want to put any pressure on the mouth at all. But in the beginning they might not know how to "look" for the rein on the neck. In other words, if I laid the rein on their neck and made sure I put NO pressure on the outside rein (their mouth), and the horse didn't respond so I bumped with my leg/inside rein, the horse might not even realize there's another cue being asked because the rein touching their neck isn't exactly "obvious" to them. Later on, once they are used to the idea of neck reining, they will pay attention and understand the rein touching the neck = turn. So you want to have a bit, in the beginning, that won't interfere so much with the "wrong" side of the mouth. Not saying doing it in a snaffle is wrong or impossible, but looking at it from a mechanical point of view, using a mild curb is more effective. I
think so, anyway.