I will do some independent research on shanked bits! Thanks for your responses!
Get your horse stopping without any pressure at all on the bit, and get your horse really responsive to you. When you say (with your seat) stop-that means stop now-not in a step or two. My trainer has me reinforce that with immediately backing up most times we stop.
We are doing the hard, immediate stops with just seat and voice- followed by 3 steps of backing.
We turn and circle with no rein pressure. (unless it's like- "wake up we're circling here!" OR I'm having a crummy seat/leg day)
Would it be useful to practice turns on the haunches on the ground?
Make sure you can move the front, mid and hind both ways with your weight and legs.....sidepasses, turns on the haunches, etc.
Honestly we have a ways to go on lateral movement. We just mastered turn on the forehand (*embarrassment*) - I'll get back on those.
(I also hum, which was how my trainer trained mine). Lots of circles, transitions (every couple of strides sometimes....)
Please tell me about your "humming"! Kelty responds really well to my voice, and is voice-trained at all the gaits. My reining "trainer"... helper? She used to sing to her arab during shows. It kept him calm.
DO NOT try to slide stop or spin without a trainer. It is super easy to screw up and not so easy to fix once they are doing it wrong. He also told me NOT to work on the rail.
I won't! Promise! I only asked because I'm going to ride a real reining horse for my birthday. Prompted by nrhareiner, I looked up reining trainers in my area and found out Todd Martin (apparently: "a NRHA Reserve Limited Open Futurity Champion, an NRHA's Reserve Limited Open Derby Champion, a multiple time NRBC finalist and a SWRHA Futurity Finalist.)
Lives and trains 20 minutes from my house. It's only $50 an hour for a lesson.
I would love to have a basic grasp of cues before I go so I could knock their socks off. :) Thats probably silly.
We don't have sliding shoes so we won't be doing sliding stops for a while, even with my trainer. Don't worry I'm not on my own! I just appreciate the virtual gold mine of information this forum is.
No rail work? Explain what that means.. Stay off the rail?