Starting a Reiner?
My mare is 6yrs and completely broke. We compete in Western Pleasure, Trail, Barrels, Poles, Gymkhana, etc and I would like to start her in Reining this Spring. I have been researching and watching countless videos of trainers from across the country but they all seem to do it differently.
Most common thing I have come across when starting a reining horse is the basics such as the requirements to neck rein, stop, back, turn (l & r), w/t/c, and respond to weight shifting. My mare does all of this and more, but currently I am working on lightening her mouth to the point where I dont need a bit to stop turn and back etc...I could do so just by shifting my weight. We are progressing, but she seems to be getting bored in the process so I am considering starting her pivots.
Problem is, as much as I try, she does not want to move off of her back end. She puts alot of her movement off of the front half of her body, and when I ask her to rein into tighter turns eventually leading to a pivot she arches her neck and just does everything she can to avoid it. What can I do to relax her neck, bring her to move her body off of her back end, and begin the steps to slow pivots? Anything helps, thanks so much!
I am also curious as how to slow down her trot? She is very quick and I cannot get her to collect and slow down...as soon as I ask her to pick up she practically tries to take off most times unless I spend 3 weeks of hardcore riding which I just dont have time for right now...any advice is great :)
From what you have said I would start with roll backs along the rail, at W/T and once that is good then at the lope. If you work at your roll backs you want to be unpredictable, do them at different places different speeds. This will do a couple for things for you, it will help her move onto her haunches because she can't roll back properly without sitting on her butt, and it will help slow her down as she doesn't know what is coming next.
There are other things you can do but that's where I would start. That and with transitions within the trotting and loping gait, you want full control of all the different speeds in all the gaits. Circles and serpentine are your friend :)
Are there any real reining trainers near where you live?
Reining is not training a horse to do each maneuver and then putting them together. Reining is not practicing and learning patterns. Reining is getting a horse really 'broke' in the face and really correct. Every step he takes should be controlled, collected and he has to be perfectly 'between your legs' and 'between your reins' at all times.
Reining horses DO NOT trot in any pattern or at any time. Some reining trainers jog their horses when they warm them up. Others never jog their horses. Just personal preference in training methods.
I would say you are going to have to work with a trainer since at this point, you do not know what you do not know. It is pretty hard to invent it over.
Your ideal situation would be to go to work for a reining trainer, even if it was for nothing and clean stalls, saddle horses and maybe eventually warm up horses for him and soak up everything that is getting done to get the horses broke enough to train for the maneuvers.
Remember, many people call themselves reining trainers, but unless they win at a high level in breed shows or win consistently in the NRHA, keep looking.
There is no middle ground in reining. It is a precise discipline and people either know what they are doing and win or they are making a fool out of themselves pretending that they know what they are doing.
First have her hocks checked. If she does not want to sit back and turn over her hocks I would start there.
It is getting late here so I will go a bit more into it latter.
I worked at a QH ranch in Hawaii and they had me working with green horses on roll backs and circles. Just like Silvera said, they had me doing the rollbacks along the fence... Just ask them with your seat to stop and then feel where they put their weight (sometimes a few steps backward after a stop will help them engage that hind end) and then give them your heel and turn them over their hocks, then pick up your trot/lope again. If they start anticipating your stopping point along the fence, you push them through it and have a go at it on a different straight-away, or put an obstacle like a barrel in the arena and use it as a stopping point as well. It was a lot of fun working with those horses. I wish I could have stayed longer... I learned a lot!
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