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jesse horner 10-09-2013 08:45 PM

neck reigning slight issue
Hey I'm teaching my horse neck reigning been at it for severel weeks now, he does pretty good turning to the right but when I try to turn left I lay reign on right side of neck no response so I give a slight pull on the left reign he bends his head slightly but keeps going straight forward with head turned sideways, so I add spur to right side and all he does is push shoulders slighty over and keep going forward with his body at a slight angle but still travelling forward. Any suggestions?
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TheAQHAGirl 10-09-2013 09:57 PM

My advice would to be more black and white.

Lay the rein on his neck, when he doesn't respond add leg, if he still doesn't respond ask with the inside rein. He should be going right when you lay that rein on him. If hes just putting his head towards the inside and not his body, and you're applying leg pressure, then ask with the inside rein immediately.

My horse would do the same thing, a few sessions of being direct/black and white with her made a difference almost immediately.

Cherie 10-09-2013 10:33 PM


he bends his head slightly but keeps going straight forward with head turned sideways,
This is not a neck reining issue. It is a basic guiding issue.

When you turn a horse's head to the left enough that you can see the corner of his left eye, HE MUST follow his nose and go to the left. Do not worry about 'asking' him to turn to the left (which is all you are doing when you lay a rein on a horse's neck) when you cannot successfully direct rein him and have him obediently follow his nose and go to the left. He is not ready to teach neck reining when he cannot obediently follow his nose when he is 'lightly' asked with a direct rein.

He is pushing his outside shoulder out and moving his weight into his outside shoulder. This is happening because you have pulled harder on the direct rein instead of making him follow his nose with a very slight bend in his neck. He is 'rubber necking'. This ALWAYS comes from pulling too much.

If you can see the corner of his eye STOP PULLING!!!! The inside rein should be slack at that point unless he tries to straighten out and take his head back to straight in front of him.

I would suggest you take a short crop and tap him on the outside shoulder until he follows his nose. Only tap until he stops putting his weight into his outside shoulder. But, whatever you do, stop pulling on the inside rein.

When I have a horse that is out of control, running sideways toward a 4-lane highway and refusing to follow its nose, I will pull it around hard the opposite direction and try again to get it to follow its nose the direction it refuses to turn. I used to get in many spoiled horses that refused to follow their noses one direction. One side was stiff and the other side they were over-bending. It is a 2-part fix:

1) loosen up and limber up the stiff side.

2) Teach the horse to NOT over-bend to their limber side.

In other words, get them CENTERED! Get them riding between your reins and between your legs.

Such a horse is not ready to work on neck reining until the underlying problems are fixed completely.

loosie 10-10-2013 12:04 AM

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Agree with Cherie that it doesn't sound like a neck reining issue, but that your horse hasn't learned how to yield to pressure adequately in the first place. If you use direct rein &/or leg to 'ask' for a turn & he doesn't do it, he needs to learn that before neckreining.

jesse horner 10-11-2013 12:46 AM

Ok I haven't been pulling to hard on his bad side, he actually did pretty good today, he finally got the latiral flexing which I've been working at for bout 3 days, what I usually do when he pulls forward as I'm asking him to turn I just stop him back him a few steps and try again and this seem to be working pretty good. The horse had this problem when I got him so I'm trying to fix it
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Saddlebag 10-11-2013 08:34 AM

What he's doing is locking his poll and needs to be taught to unlock it. That tension radiates down his back to his heels. Teach this on the ground first in small increments. The goal is that he will bend around and touch or almost touch his ribcage. At first you'll likely be lucky to get a few inches and he'll demand it his head back. That's ok, just do it again. Stand behind the spot you hope to attain. Don't try to rush this. You are making headway when he holds for a few seconds with no tension. It may take a good half hour to get most of the way and even that is an accomplishment. Time for the other side. Do this daily before riding then do it from the saddle as soon as you mount and do it often as you ride. He'll stop and that is what you want and flex him half a dozen times.

jesse horner 10-14-2013 08:46 AM

Make sense:) I have been working with the flexing and he's made lots of progress and it has helped a lot with his turning. Also he's a bit gate sour what I've been doing to fix it is just pushing him past the gate everytime and I make sure I never stop in front of the gate and making sure I never ride him through the gate I always stop 20 or 30 feet away when I'm done riding and lead him through the gate, is there a different way to fix this?
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Cherie 10-14-2013 09:07 AM

If you are doing most of your riding in a ring (which it sounds like you are doing), try riding entirely on the half of the ring that is away from the gate. Try not to cross the center-line. Stop and rest often when you are the point that is the farthest from the gate. That should also be the place you stop, rest, dismount, loosen girth and lead out from.

If at all possible, find an open field that you ca work in. Again, ride circles and squares at the place that is farthest from the barn area. When you are done, ride back to the barn area at a walk. If he gets in a hurry, turn back and ride some more at the farthest place you can. When you get to the barn, ride into the arena and dismount at the far end or corner.

This is what all students here are taught here from beginner 4-H kids to serious show riders to recreational trail riders. This keeps horses from getting sour. Then, work consistently on getting him to follow his nose 'immediately' when you ask with a very light inside rein. Do not allow him to 'drift' at all into his outside shoulder. Teach him leg yielding exercises -- always done by making him yield 'away' from the gate or barn area. Teach him to respect your rein aids and leg aids and he will learn to stay between your reins and between your legs.

jesse horner 10-14-2013 12:22 PM

Most of what I'm doing is in an arena which is about a mile from my corral and pasture where I keep him.
Ok so I need to be farther away from gate on dismounting, I have a field half mile from my house I can work him in some.
How do I keep him from drifting into his outside shoulder? He's bad with that, better then when I got him but still drifts into that outside shoulder pretty bad especially when he is tired or thinks he should be done lol he's shown a lot of good progress in the two and a half weeks I've had him but he's got a ways to go still, suprisingly with him being gate sour like he is, he isn't barn sour he just doesn't like to be in the arena I don't know if he has unpleasent memorys from the two previous owners or not
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