Starting a Reining Horse
I have a 12 yo Kt Mt Saddle Horse I want to use for reining (because, guess what, he might not trot but he sure can lope with the best of them). :clap:
Where do I start? Right now I'm working on giving to the bit, relaxing and flexing his neck, bending and leg yields. His big thing is he get's ahead of cues because he's super anxious to not do anything wrong. I'm pretty sure it comes from that %*#$@ trainer who worried the poor guy sick when he was so young. He's getting better with only a few days of it but needs a lot of time.
If I would be showing, it'd be open and/or 4-H events (I'm not sure if breed shows would have reining, but they do have trail and gaming). I'm not expecting him to slide or spin like the Pro's, but I still want him to execute correctly (not so much for speed?).
Does he already have the haunch turns and abrupt stops? Can you give us a little more detail as to what he can do already and what he needs to improve on? Does he pick up leads correctly? Does he already do flying changes?
He has a background in showing in trail, so he's good on the backing and stopping (I was rather surprised at how well he knew whao) and the turns he can do (sometimes...:lol: ) but it's at more of a "trail pace" than a reining pace. I was watching a PWC reining class and a lot of those guys were trail or horsemanship horses that didn't go at the quick pace of the traditional reining horse. His leads are good...I need to fix some of the issues my mom has created, but it shouldn't be any big deal for him. He just needs to be ridden.
No lead changes as of yet. In 4-H and Open you can do a simple change, so I'd teach him that once he got to being well balanced and more responsive.
I'd say his big thing will be the turning, because it really gets him flustered at the moment. Is it possible to start on the ground with these and then transfer it to under saddle?
When I started working with my trainer, the first thing we did was teach her to cross over her legs when spinning on the ground. She still doesn't spin very fast. Focus on the quality of the spin over the speed. If his spin isn't absolutely perfect when he does it slowly, he won't be able to do it much faster.
What we did in the roundpen was tack her up or put her in a surcingle and tie her head around to one side. Then we used the lunge whip to tap first her shoulder and then her hip and she slowly walked circles. Once she stopped walking the circles and crossed over, we untied her. As she got better at it, we asked for more. We didn't untie her until she had done 3 or 4 in a row. Only then did we start working on it under saddle.
Then we worked on getting her more balanced. I cantered her in small circles and sharp turns and taught her to keep from dropping her shoulder. We also worked on speed control. Once she was very balanced, we started working on simple changes and rollbacks.
I hope that helps : ]
Do some fast & slows...
Small, slow loping circles, then give him a little of his nose and lengthen the circles as well as the stride.
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