Next Step in Neck Reining

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Next Step in Neck Reining

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  • Neck reining a horse

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    03-25-2014, 11:01 AM
Next Step in Neck Reining

I have started training Nova to Neck rein, she does great at a walk and is very light but when you are at a trot she is much slower to react. I've only really tried trotting her circles a few times and she'll respond for a bit and then tries to go where ever until slow her down or take up direct reining again. Do I just need to keep working on it slowly. She's a slow turner to start with, should I fine tune her turns with direct reining first, she knows her cues great and turns fine just not on her heels or nothing. Sorry I'm rambling but Would love advice.
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    03-25-2014, 11:06 AM
Green Broke
How did you train her at the walk? Just apply that to the trot and canter. If you have a horse that direct reins well and moves off your leg it should be relatively simple. Ask for a direction change with leg and neck rein, then reinforce with direct rein if necessary, after giving the horse a brief period to respond to neck reining alone. Same "ask, tell, demand" principle as training any other maneuver.
    03-25-2014, 11:21 AM
That is actually exactly how I trained her. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't confusing her. She doesn't act confused, she just acts like she's hesitating, so just keep working on it.
    03-25-2014, 11:30 AM
I would like to add to BlueSpark's post...

When the horse responds to a signal, let it go straight on a loose rein for a few steps as reward.

Good luck
smrobs, Corporal, 2BigReds and 1 others like this.
    03-25-2014, 12:27 PM
Yep at first when I start I was bumping her while turning and doing full circles. Up til yesterdays session all she wanted to do was a 180 or 360 if neck reined so I started doing quarter turns then changing directions after a brief stop or walk forward after 15-20 mins she turned anywhere just great and then went on straight as soon as I released her to.
2BigReds likes this.
    03-25-2014, 04:35 PM
Green Broke
I love trail riding for teaching neck reining, it seems to make the connection in a horses mind really quickly. Pick a nice treed area and weave between the trees, neck reining as you go.
    03-25-2014, 04:38 PM
If you keep applying the same aids, and then praise when she does it right, she'll figure out what you what. "Talking" to our horses is difficult bc of the language barrier. =D
    03-25-2014, 05:17 PM
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    03-25-2014, 06:53 PM
Super Moderator
Addressing the 'slow to turn' issue --

Do more 'pushing' and less 'pulling'. If a horse's nose is pointed the direction you want it to go, STOP PULLING! At that point, the inside rein should be loose. It should be the outside leg, a light 'press' of a spur, a light tap on the outside shoulder with a bat or whatever else it takes to get the horse to follow his nose.

Most people just pull harder on the inside rein and the horse's normal response to that is more resistance and 'pulling' the opposite direction. It takes two to get into a pulling contest. Don't accommodate the horse by giving her something to resist against.
    03-27-2014, 12:56 PM
Because neck reining is a simple command, most horses catch on to the basics fairly quickly but they must have learned to move away from pressure during their ground control training where you developed independent control over each segment of your horse's body; his head, neck, shoulders, rib cage and haunches. Please know that the Ground Control exercises/drills must parallel the maneuverability and basic man oeuvres of Body Control in the saddle including aids & cues.

I assume that you have completed the Ground Control exercises/drills so now the steps you should be using to train your horse in the saddle will be logical and progressive to your horse. Beginning with lateral flexing, softening the horses face, Turning and Guiding, Softening and Stop, Softening and Backing, Collection Backing Up, circles/patterns etc.

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