Trying To Just Use His Neck - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-10-2010, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Trying To Just Use His Neck

OK so the horse I'm riding was started in reining but never finished. On a scale of 1-10 his neck reining is a 7 sometimes 8(depending on his mood) and he works really really well off my legs. What I want to do is to try and ride him in just a neck strap. The only thing I'm worried about is brakes. We have him in a wonder bit right now and he has a pretty good stop but he hates bits (all bits) but we've had him in a hackamore and he doesn't listen. He really likes not having a bit in his mouth but I don't know if I would trust him in just a neck strap even though I feel it would be better...oy I'm confusing myself....he hates ANY type of pressure on his mouth (even tiny bits) so I basically just want to focus on neck reining him and I feel riding in a neck strap will help that.

If I am confusing anyone please just ask questions I've gone over 48 straight hours without sleep so my mind is a little slow right now.

What I basically want to do...be able to ride him in a neck strap and have brakes....just not sure how to get the brakes. He responds to woah(when there's a bit in %100 of the time but bareback or bitless when he wants to) but I'm wondering if without a bit he'll try to take advantage like with the hackamore or just take off and I wont be able to stop him.

Any suggestions? Like I said bear with me I'm sorry if I sound confusing.

~ Hope is never light years away ~
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-10-2010, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantomcolt18 View Post
What I basically want to do...be able to ride him in a neck strap and have brakes....just not sure how to get the brakes. He responds to woah(when there's a bit in %100 of the time but bareback or bitless when he wants to) but I'm wondering if without a bit he'll try to take advantage like with the hackamore or just take off and I wont be able to stop him.
Of course that's what he'll want to do. You need to teach him to want to stop instead of using the bit to force him to stop. You can walk him into corners and cue him to stop with just your seat and once he gets pretty good at that then do it at a trot then finally at a lope.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-10-2010, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply KevinsHorses,
Ok I have been working on "woah" with him while riding in a halter....I'm trying to take it one step at a time. With the bit I don't need to pull back to stop him all I have to do is sit back slightly and say woah and he'll slow to a stop...it's without a bit that's the problem he acts like he can't feel or hear me cueing him. I don't apply pressure to the bit because he neck reins, if I apply ANY pressure no matter how little it throws him all out of whack and he gets really mad and fights. He even backs up with just leg and voice cues BUT ONLY with a bit but with no pressure on the bit whatsoever.

Should I work him in a bridle and a neckstrap to get him used to it? Then should I move on to a halter and a neck strap? Or maybe a bitless bridle and a neck strap?

~ Hope is never light years away ~
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-11-2010, 12:13 AM
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First I would get him good in the bridle. A horse can learn to give to a bit if you use a little feel and time your release properly. I know you want to ride bridleless but your horse needs to learn to really respond to the bit. Get his teeth checked if you haven't already. Then you need to teach him to give to pressure. He should flex vertically and laterally. If you can't get that then you won't have any control without the bridle. In my opinion bitless bridles are garbage and are used by people that for whatever reason won't train thier horse properly. Use a snaffle bit and ask the horse to bend his neck in one direction using direct rein. Wait until there is slack in the rein and the horses feet are still. Don't pull very hard and as soon as the horse give then release. Repeat this on each side about 500 times. The better your release is timed the faster the horse will learn. After the horse flexes to the right and left then use both reins and ask for vertical flexion. Use the same feel and timing as you did with lateral flexion but this time use both reins and don't release until the horse breaks at the poll. This process will take several days if you work diligently at it. If you don't it will take forever. After your horse understands that he should be giving and moving away from pressure he is more likely to understand what the neck rope means and everything will go much easier.

When there are holes in a horses training it makes it hard to progress very far. Even though it may seem like it is unrelated everything we teach a horse is built on previous training. You never know where that hole is going to weaken the entire training structure.

I'm sure my comment about bitless bridle will cause some heartburn for someone but that's the way I see it. If you want to ride your horse bridleless then that's fine. It's an impressive trick and fun to do but to do it properly your horse needs to be very handy first.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-11-2010, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the advice I will definately use this starting today. I don't know much about bitless bridles but I've seen people mentioning them on here.
His teeth are good he just had them done in October.
My personal horse can flex but that's only because I trained him to so I should have no problem training T.C. to do it. I didn't know that flexing would play such a big roll in bridleless riding. Ha learn something new every day.
But thanks again!

~ Hope is never light years away ~
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