Hi, Has anyone get any tips for neck reining an English trained horse ?:-)
Two things, a good bit and clear cues.
Honestly I've found most horses figure out how to neck rein rather quickly with a short shanked, ported or mullened, curb bit. I use a bumper sweetwater bit:
If you want to stick with a snaffle then essentially you're teaching the horse a pre-cue, the rein touches the horse's neck, if they don't turn you direct rein them. Do this enough and eventually they'll turn with just the pre-cue, before you need to pull. But that's essentially what a curb bit does on it's own.
What happens with a curb bit while a horse is learning - you neck rein left, your right rein is shortened, this pulls the right shank up and takes the pressure off the right bar - pushing onto the right cheek, which pushes pressure down on the left bar. This provides a number of very clear signals for a horse to follow when you neck rein, the horse will also learn the pre-cue of the rein touching the neck before the contact on the bit happens.
So if the horse gives well to direct reining it could be as simple as changing to a good quality, gentle, curb bit. But if you want to stick with the snaffle your best bet is to train the pre-cue.
Good luck - have fun!
ETA: Also - welcome to the forum!! we love pony pics here so feel free to post up :D
Thanks so much for the advice :-)
My horse is english only, but she responds instantly to my leg.
I taught her to neck rein in a little over a week by ridding as i normally do (steering off my leg) and neck reining her
I do as PunksTank does and just wanted to add that when I cue the direct rein, after laying the indirect rein on the horse's neck, I really release quickly. I want to reward the tiniest turn of the head when the horse moves it in the desired direction. I build from there, gradually eliminating the direct rein.
If your horse turns off your leg, then he will neck rein. It's more about the using LEG first, then adding a slight cue with the hand.
^ A friend of mine was ridinng my horse yesterday, she had only ridden him once in her life. She asked me how to neck rein him (she's a hunt seat rider), so I told her to lift her hand up and apply outside leg, and he went right around for her. Next thing you know she's jogging through three trot poles and doing tight turns around the end of the pole to jog through the other side; just by a little leg and a lift of her hand.
As far as bits go, all of mine are ported but have swivel shanks....except one bit which I show WP with. It is solid but in the mouthpiece and the shanks. I find the moveable shanks much better for teaching "neck" reining than one with a solid shank.
Dun - thats very interesting what you say about swivel shanks - i'm not arguing, just curious, what Makes swivel shanks better? Do you have a picture of a bit the style your explaining? Thanks! I just like to learn about bits and styles and why people like different types :)
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^ I will post some when I get home. The reason I like swivel shanks is because they have both independent action AND solid action. You can "pick up" one side of the horse's mouth and not the other or both. With a solid bit all the way through you don't have the availability.
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