I have decided to get my national show horse mare started on western pleasure. So far I have gotten a nice collected jog out of her and a nice slow canter. She is already moves off of my legs pretty well, so riding with one hand is do-able, but the 'neck reining' is not quite there. What are some tips and excersizes I can use and do to help her learn it a little better? Thanks :)
Touch her lightly with the rein, then use your outside leg to "follow through". What I generally do for this is take my spurs off, lay the rein, then kick hard with my outside leg and make the horse spin once, then walk off. I say take my spurs off because I can be a very aggressive rider with my legs so if I'm doing something like that I would rather be kicking with my dull boot and calf than my iron injectors. Eventually the horse learns that if they don't get off that rein, they're going to get kicked over. So they just go wherever then. I mean, don't do this on a green horse, but if your horse is already responsive to leg cues then there isn't too much reason why not.
There was just a thread on here within the last week concerning neck reining. Run a search and you will find it.
My trainer and I just started my mare in learning how to go one handed. What we did is, if we wanted her to turn left we would guide her with the left hand to turn left but lay the right rein on her neck, turn our body in the direction we wanted her to, and then also apply the outside leg. It only took a couple of rides for her to catch on and now she is going almost entirely on leg, only needing a reminder every now and then.
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