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Let's Discuss Neck Reining/Riding Western, etc
For all you Western enthusiasts or people wanting to try/switch over to riding in the Western way.
Knowing how to neck rein is a crucial part of learning how to ride in the Western fashion/way in most cases.
I have since went from English to Western and though most people find it easier, I find it to be a little harder.
Not a lot of Western riders "post the trot" but they "sit the trot". The first few times I tried this I bumped all over the place. It's acceptable to post the trot while riding Western, but there aren't a lot of "cowboys" who do this. Learning to sit the trot will be fun and I think it gives you a more relaxed ride on the trail.
I don't know about some of you, but when I began riding English I was taught how to direct rein. The majority of Western riders neck rein.
To properly neck rein I was taught for a right turn to lay the left rein against the horses left side of the neck. And for a left turn to lay the right rein against the horses right side of the neck.
If you don't get the turning motion you desire then you can apply pressure for a bend with your heel behind the girth to have the horse yield away from the pressure and complete the turn.
For example I want to turn right:
I lay the left rein on the horses neck and if need be apply pressure to the the horses right side to cue a bend.
And vice versa for a left turn.
Were you taught this way?
I was also told that if the horse is learning to neck rein that you can (for the right turn) lay the left rein against the horses neck, slacken the right (outside) rein and gently pull back on the right rein to get the horses head to turn in the direction you want to go. As soon as you get the horse to do any kind of turn in that direction let of the pressure on the right rein. And vice versa for left turns.
I have since been riding Western for 2 years and have had no problems neck reining this way.
My biggest issue now will be to get my "trail" horse I plan to purchase soon, to either direct or neck rein. She doesn't know which she wants to be, since most of her life spent on the trail was by inexperienced riders who either could neck rein some or just pulled the rein to the side when they wanted to make a turn.
So anyway, I would like to read about how you neck rein/drive :), sit/post the trot in Western. And any "Stories" for examples.
Thanks "Ya'll" ;)
I always sit the trot by sitting back on my butt bones. and keep the hips flexible enough to go with the flow :lol: I've never taken lessons but thats how I do it, right or wrong.
The neck reining, Vida is just learning. I do the leg, lay the rein and if no responce a slight tug with the inside rein. So kind of a combo of what you said above. She goes better off the leg, but I still want her to know the neck cue. I never really saw the reason for teaching neck reining until I had to pony another horse while on Vida. Definitly easier if she know how to go when I only have one hand. :lol:
i can do both during a trot, but my horse does better when i...post? is that what you call it? sit up?...interesting, anyway he likes it better not sure why though,
neck reining, i do a combination like you said the rein on the neck then if there is no response i reach down and turn him, he can neck rein the 'real' way but i dont like too lol
Fundamentally they are the same. You still have to have good position, good hands, legs and seat. Your horse still has to be responsive to all your aids, and work up and through himself. In all honesty, you (this is a "blanket" you, not at anyone in specific) should be able to sit your trot/jog and canter/lope regardless of discipline... and steering partly (mostly) comes from your legs, not your hands, and this too is universal.
When it comes to the finer tuned things, each discipline requires different training, i.e. for reining, your horse has to neck rein very well, but also keep a good frame and work through themselves - without rein contact. Dressage, for example, requires a bend, frame, and balance as with reining, but it's on a direct rein. However, the similarities are that they both require the horse and rider to be in tune with one another, they both require the rider to understand the basics of a good seat, legs and hands, and each has to be responsive to those aids.
I don't think one style is any harder than the other, depending on how far you delve into it. I may be able to do a piaffe, but if you handed me a lariat to go rope a cow?? I would not be able to at all!!
Each discipline has its own skill set.
The best horse I owned (Maia is my up and coming star, but I'm talking about Dancer) could be ridden English or Western and win at both; together we did Medium level dressage, jumped 3'6"-3'9" courses, then we'd turn around and compete in Western pleasure. She was a very well-rounded horse and I think that gave her a great advantage.
I'm not trying to bash your topic as well, just offering a discussion point.
I believe that just like riders, great horses can do well no matter the tack they're in.
I trained our 6 yr old to neck rein when she was 4 basically as you described...neck rein, if she didn't respond, add direct rein/leg, and she caught on very quickly. Our mares definitely prefer 'working' with very little rein/bit over being in their mouth all the time. When we let other people ride them direct rein, they are fine with that too as long as you don't get too tight on them...then they'll shake their head a little sort of like saying "just tell me what you want and I'll do it..you don't need to pull on me".
As for sitting the trot, the key for me was just to relax, especially hips down. When I started riding, I had a lot of bounce until I realized that I was too worried about everything they tell you to do...heels down, back straight, etc, etc, etc. I was just thinking too much and it made me stiff. Now I just get on, relax, and enjoy and don't worry about my form, and I'm comfortable at the trot or lope.
I have never ridden a horse that didn't know how to neck rein and I only use a direct rein sometimes when I need to if the horse is feeling frisky and won't do what I ask him/her using neck reining.
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