Neck Reining

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Neck Reining

This is a discussion on Neck Reining within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    01-16-2009, 03:01 PM
Neck Reining

So I've been reading around, searching and what not, and though I have found threads about neck reining I still just don't get how to train a horse to do it!

Anyone willing to give step by step instructions on How to Teach Your Horse to Neck Rein?

Thank you =)
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    01-16-2009, 04:04 PM
I can tell you how I did it whether it right or not I can't say
Start out direct reining. Hold you hands about 8 inches apart and as you direct rein in the direction you want to go, at the same time lay the reins across the horses neck (opposite side that you want to go) over time and much repetition the horse should start getting the idea and you will only have to lay the reins on the neck for your cue.
I think it works better when your starting out to use a fairly thick rein. I like a rope type one
It takes time and patience as do all things horse training.
    01-16-2009, 08:52 PM
I did it the same way as Vidaloco said with our young ones, be patient and consistant. Some horses pick it up very quickly and others seem to take forever.
    01-17-2009, 11:38 PM
It also helps if your horse knows how to yield to leg pressure.
    01-18-2009, 05:10 PM
This may sound like a stupid question, or maybe I just over thought it and confused myself but, if I want to turn right do I use my left or right leg to encourage the turn? I can see it working both ways. Such as using the left to "push" the horse to the right OR I can see using your right leg to get the horse to somewhat pivot around that leg to turn Lol
    01-18-2009, 06:13 PM
Right leg, slightly back. You can think of it as asking them to move their hind quarters away from your pressure (as you say, pivoting around).
    01-18-2009, 06:27 PM
When I first started teaching Vida with the leg. I sort of did a 'bump bump bump action with my leg till she turned. I'd give her a chance to turn while bumping and if she didn't after a few bumps I would direct rein her in the direction I wanted her to go. She goes much better off the leg than the rein.
Just think of it as pushing her in the direction you want to go. I bump at the girth or a little in front of it to move her front end behind the girth to move her back end. And the middle to move front and back sideways. Reinforce with the reins till she figures it out.
Does that make sense?

I want to throw in to be sure to give lots of "good girls" when she gets it right
    01-18-2009, 08:35 PM
First of all, no nagging your horse! If you ask for a response, and he doesn't understand it, show him. If you ask and he doesn't respond, get a response.

Neck reining is a combination of leg and rein. Reins control the neck and shoulders, legs control the haunches. You can teach a horse to turn on the forehand, and on the haunches, by neck reining and direct cues. :)

Keep your hands close to the withers, as if you were holding them in one hand. When you want to go left, move the right rein to the neck, and use your right leg. Don't drag it excessively across the neck, this will put pressure on the right side of the bit, which is not the direction we are going! When he doesn't move left, take your left hand, turn him left (fix him) and then continue on. Start at the walk until it's solid, move up to the trot and canter later.

How we train babies is how we train greenies--you keep your hands close to the withers, you turn them, and then you let them go. They have to learn to stay straight on their own. If you are always micromanaging them by direct reining to keep them straight, then they will never learn to do it themselves. Ride your horse forwards to ride him straight; you can slow down once he gets it.

They also call it 'staying inbetween the reins', which means when you move the reins to the right, the horse's shoulder move so that they are 'inbetween the reins', and they keep moving until you ask him to stop. When you straighten the reins and stop asking for the turn, the horse goes straight and stays straight, because straight keeps him between the reins. Make sense? It's a concept to keep in mind when you're training, so you know what the goal is.

    01-18-2009, 10:20 PM
Xkatex, to answer your questions about leg aids, if you want your horse to turn right, you will use your right leg as a pivot point but use your left leg as the pressure that he will turn from.

This is a quote from Julie Goodnight that explains it well :

The inside leg and the outside leg are used in turning, but they do different things. Outside leg gives direction, inside leg gives impulsion. The inside leg is applied at the girth to elevate the horse's shoulder and give him a point to bend around. The outside leg bends the horse's haunches. For Western horses, when turns may be done at speed, it is sometimes necessary to take the inside leg off the horse, to give him somewhere to turn into. This, of course, is a very brief synopsis of an extremely complex theory of use of the leg aids Julie Goodnight
    01-19-2009, 08:47 PM
I have trained all of my cutting horses to neck rein using this method:
First, place the reins over the horses neck and tie a knot, if there's not one already, to hold them together at the right length for you and your horse. Then take them back over the horses neck and criss cross them. Instead of putting them over the head so that they are straight and on the correct side of the bit, criss cross them then put them over the head. Walk the horse around a bit and turn him getting him used to the feel. Then when you mount, hold you reins in one hand. When you lay the reins against his neck to the right, it will pull on the right side of the bit, causing him to turn right. Vice versa for the left.

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