Tips on teaching to neck rein...

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Tips on teaching to neck rein...

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    09-23-2010, 08:53 PM
Tips on teaching to neck rein...

I am going over to my best friends house tomorrow to visit and to see this new horse she got in to train. She is having some difficulty teaching him to neck rein and I was wondering if anyone here had any tips I could give her on how to teach him. She says when she tries to rein him he throws his head like a typical youngster does. Any tips and advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!
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    09-23-2010, 09:06 PM
By youngster, how old are we talking? If he hasn't mastered direct-reining, you shouldn't make the transition to neck-reining just yet! :) Just make sure he's MASTERED left and right without head-tossing before you go confusing him with the different pressures of neck reining.

Remember, when you are neckreining a horse, you are putting pressure on the outside. I've seen people do lots of different things, like crossing the reins on the bit (you hold the rein connected to the left side of the bit in your right hand, and vice versa) and teaching them to recognize the pressure on their neck as turning (make sure you use leg aids as well). I've also seen people use hackamores because they don't put pressure on a specific side of the mouth.

Can you tell us a little more about the way the horse is trained? :)
    09-23-2010, 09:49 PM
Well, she has had him for a couple weeks and she has broke him to the saddle and bridle and has been riding him in an arena. I believe she said he is 3, almost 4yrs.old. Never had any previous training before being brought to her. He's just been tossing his head a bunch when she tries to neck rein him. I believe she's using just a snaffle on him too.
    09-23-2010, 09:51 PM
I start them neck reining in the snaffle only after they are solid on left and right with direct reining and soft on the bit. I will work in squares on them. Walk them for a minute, lay the right rein on their neck then a moment later, direct rein with the left rein until you get a turn then release all pressure and let them walk. Then do the same thing again and again and again. Then move up to the trot and start over, then the lope.

Here is a sorta mediocre video showing what I just described.
YouTube - Training Tips: Neck Reining and Pivoting, part 1, eXtension
    09-23-2010, 09:53 PM
Sorry for the double post but make sure that she doesn't pull the outside rein tight. The weight of the rein itself should be cue enough.
    09-24-2010, 06:28 PM
Don't forget to use your outside heel! :] My horse is so used to that cue that she will turn away from your leg without any rein contact at all. It's always nice :] Good luck!
    09-24-2010, 06:31 PM
I think I have mentioned it before but Western Horseman has a great article on neck reining in this months issue. Very informative and has some great ideas for horses that aren't so easy to teach.

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