Ok so we bought this quarter horse gelding whos always been ridden western and he neck reins like a dream. But i've always ridden english.. And if you try to steer him without neck reining he hates it, he throws his head and just throws a fit. Is there a way to get him used to this? he's for my nieces and I really want to teach them english because i know more about it plus they would look silly in a show ring neck reining with english tack on :shock: or should we just leave him along and ride him western since he is 12 years old?!?! We've even tried it with no bit just halter and he still throws a fit. Plus if you raise your hand just to pet his face he jerks back like your going to hit him and i've never hit him.. any suggestions.
Is he worried or does he not see you well and gets startled?
Its just a full cheek snaffle bit, i was maybe thinking something more like a those happy mouth bits with the link in the middle. But he was used to a tom thumb, should i try that.
Any time you try to pet his face he jerks away..from the front or the side.
Check his teeth, he may need them floated something. This could cause the head tossing while under saddle. It could also be that it's just a training issue that you will have to address. The best thing you could do is see if there is someone to help you that has experience with this kind of thing.
As for the shying away when you try to touch him, since you just bought him you don't know what has happened to him before you got him. It sounds like someone hit him or did something to make him head shy. You will just have to work at getting him to accept contact there. That will just take lots of patience and time. And don't get angry with him about it.
Neck reining is just teaching the horse to stay between your reins. There is no reason why an english horse shouldn't neck rein. If you want to ride him english then hold the reins with both hands and point your hands where you want him to go and he will go there. I would bet most GOOD english horse neck rein but it's just not as obvious.
Just be patient with him and possible find a trainer he will come around. some horses are real sensitive to their mouths
You will also need to work on getting him supple to both sides. I recently got a horse that has been ridden western much of his life and neck reins great. However, if you try to bend his nose to one side, his neck stays stiff and straight out in front of him and he just spins in a circle like twirling a board. Unfortunately he isn't sound for riding right now so he is just turned out to pasture but when I do get him sound, I will likely start him over by teaching him how to give to the bit each way as if he had never been ridden.
On the one hand, why would you want to throw away something like neck reining, if he does it well? It is considered a higher level of training than direct reining. That being said, I ,too , prefer to direct rein and what Smrobs is describing, with the stiff as a board thingy, is something I see in a lot of neck reined horses. I guess that's why I don't like it so much. You get that feeling of a horse that turns like a boat, or a swinging gate, and if they are on their forehand, the centrifugal force is high. I prefer the horse so have enough awareness of the directional rein that he give that side of his jaw and bend lightly in the direction of movemen, "following" the rein.
I know that a well trained reiner is very light, bent to the turn and balanced. I just haven't had the priviledge of riding one.
I might spend some time on the ground with a halter, or with the bridle in hand teaching him to give to pressure on each side of the bit. YOu have to start small, rewarding the slightest give. Maybe he is resentful because you are trying to PULL his head around , rather than teaching him to GIVE around to the pressure on the bit.
I tried out a gelding who had the same problem before I bought my mare. He had never been trained english so neck reining was the only way he understood (they didn't start him on direct reining at all). If i tried to gather up contact it frustrated him, does your horse allow you to have more contact?
Don't get discouraged, he just simply doesn't understand what it is you want. If he is a sensitive neck-reiner, he should be sensitive to moving off the leg to change direction, maybe try slowly transitioning from neck-reining with pushing with your leg to just turning from leg cues to a bit of contact on the inside rein, etc. It will be a slow process, but worth it if that's what you're wanting.
Thanks everyone for your adive. He gets really irritated when you try to direct rein him he jerks his head and wants to go faster and is really sensitive to leg as well. But He actually has a tendon issue right now and is being stall rested, he was supposed to be a christmas give for my two neices but the plan has changed we found them a pony and he's going to get rest for now and see how he is once it heals. But more than likely just a trail horse so neck reining doesnt bother me for that purpose. There saying 6 months to a year for his leg so we'll see :)
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