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trouble with neck reigning

This is a discussion on trouble with neck reigning within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse trouble reigning
  • Crossing the reins on a horse as a training method

 
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    11-07-2010, 05:20 PM
  #11
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tazmanian Devil    
I have heard about what the original poster is referring to. I have never seen it done, but the concept makes sense.

By crossing the reins, you get to add some direct reining to the neck rein. If you are going left, the horse will feel the rein on the right side of the neck. In addition, the crossed rein will put pressure on the right side of the bit, "pushing" it to the left. The idea is to do this one handed. Done right, the pressure is consistent - all on the right side cueing the horse to turn left.

As stated, never seen it or tried it. If set up correctly, the concept makes sense. In practice, however, it might be hard to do correctly. From what I have read it does work for some people.
If you are pulling so hard on the reins one-handed when you are neck reining that it puts pressure on the bit ... you are not neck reining properly. You can see my explaination above as to why.

Plus, the crossed rein is not only going to put pressure on the right side of the bit (if we were turning to the left) even if you have a snaffle in the mouth because the pull from the rein is coming from the back and right and not coming strictly from the left side as if were were direct reining. So there are TWO cues going on that is going to confuse the horse. And again, not to mention the fact that you should never pull so hard in a neck rein one-handed that it causes bit pressure. That's not the purpose of neck reining.

If your horse needs the reinforcement of a direct rein (and they do in the early stages of neck reining training), why would it be so hard to simply lift your inside hand for a direct rein cue reinforcement rather than crossing the reins and making a confusing mess?
     
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    11-08-2010, 09:51 AM
  #12
Foal
Tazmanian Devil: Proper neck reining should be a conditioned response, not pushing or pulling the horse over. By criss-crossing the reins you are teaching the horse that it needs pressure on the neck to turn, which is incorrect. "Pressure" is not necessary to neck rein, a touch is.

No one is going to ride with their reins permanently criss-crossed, so when they try to attach the reins properly again, you have to go through the process of teaching the horse to rein over properly again. Criss-crossing provides a different weight then having your reins attached normally, so if you wish for a sensitive horse than it is a useless training technique.

(Not saying anything to offend, just explaining. )
     
    11-08-2010, 11:16 AM
  #13
Weanling
Beau159 and kolorisingstudio,

Your points are well taken. As stated, I have never seen or tried the method. Like most things, a quick explanation on the net from someone unfamiliar with a technique usually leaves out some important detail. As I have heard of some people having success with the method (presumably done properly) I thought to give it the benefit of the doubt.

If I had every thought to try it, I would first find someone experienced with the technique to first show me how. At that point I would make my own judgement on it. At this point, I am guessing. :)

I completely understand and agree with your points.

As to "pressure" vs. "touch" - this is a semantic difference. When properly/well trained the pressure we refer to should only be a "touch." This not only applies to neck reining, but also leg "pressure" or any other kind of physical cue.

As beau159 points out, a horse first learning to neck rein will often need additional reinforcement of a direct rein. The criss-cross method - as it was explained to me - is supposed to provide that reinforcement when needed. It is simply a training aid and not a long-term solution.


Quote:
why would it be so hard to simply lift your inside hand for a direct rein cue reinforcement rather than crossing the reins
A very good question and why I am also skeptical about the criss-cross concept. The criss-cross is supposed to _replace_ the inside hand direct rein reinforcement. I _think_ the concept might be in support of your point about bit pressure. Teaching neck reining with the one=handed criss-cross might prevent riders from exerting too much bit pressure while just giving the horse a little extra reinforcement.

I sometimes ride with a bitless bridle. That system basically employs a criss-cross method. When you direct rein to the left, your aren't actually "pulling" so much as "pushing" the head due to the design (where the pull or push can be as light as a "touch" depending on the rider's hands and softness of the horse).

Again, I am not endorsing or supporting this method, nor have I ever seen it done. I have heard of it enough to know that _some_ people consider it a valid training tool and have success with it. There are some very counter-intuitive things about it (as pointed out in the above posts) which make me skeptical. Since some have had success with it I have to think there is _something_ to the method. My explanations are simply guesses based on my limited knowledge of the technique and a desire to reason out how it could possibly work. I don't like to totally discount a method until I have seen it done properly.

Hope I clarified my comments on this. :)
     
    11-28-2010, 11:09 AM
  #14
Foal
Yes I agree with everyone else. But I sort of do it my own way, This helps me a lot,( well I am a barrel racer so I have barrel reins) but it helps me toput one hand on the reins and one hand on tthe horn and what my instructer (Sister) said is to if your going right use your left leg and hold it in and make sure the other foot isnt hitting our horses stomache, as well as putting the ren against the left side of their neck, And they will feel that preasure on that side and will be like oh I got to go that way, But that always works for me I hope it can help you out too.
     
    12-06-2010, 04:53 PM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlicata    
. A lady told me that when she was teaching her horse to neck reign (I've never tried it myself), she hooked the right reign to the left side of the bit and the left reign to the right side of the bit. Sorry if that's confusing, but that's the way she told me. That way when she would make the exagerrated movement to turn the horse left, the right reign would lay against his neck but tug a little on the left side of the bit.
Hmm... that's actually a pretty neat idea... I'm going to try it with my guy
     
    12-06-2010, 06:27 PM
  #16
Showing
Perch, I wouldn't advise that. While it can work to teach them neck reining, it isn't a very effective method and they end up pretty hard to the pressure of the rein.

This is a much better way to teach the neck rein initially.
     
    12-06-2010, 06:42 PM
  #17
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Perch, I wouldn't advise that. While it can work to teach them neck reining, it isn't a very effective method and they end up pretty hard to the pressure of the rein.

This is a much better way to teach the neck rein initially.
YouTube - Training Tips: Neck Reining and Pivoting, part 1, eXtension

Super video! Thanks for posting that.

It shows exactly what NOT to do when neck reining. And it also shows what would happen if you criss-cross your reins and give a "pilot error" (as the video puts it) on the reins.

Please take a look at this video PerchiesKisses. If you still don't know why criss crossing the reins is a BAD idea, just ask. We can try to explain again!
     
    12-07-2010, 10:46 AM
  #18
Weanling
I'll watch the vid when I get home, as I have no youtube access here :) but I'm just trying to explore some better ways of teaching my horse to neck rein. He understands the concept at a stop... is slow to respond but does at a walk... and ignores the cue in total at anything faster. And he absolutely will not give his neck unless I add a little bit of heel into the mix when asking and then he clues in.

Mind you, I started in just his halter at first and used heavier rope reins to make the cues a little more obvious to him... I was thinking that if implementing the criss-cross technique it would be more of an automatic thing. The trick would be for the cue-stimulous-response-reward to be more simultanious. Especially for someone like me who has a horrible habit of going back to two handed riding without realizing I'm doing it.
     
    12-07-2010, 11:59 AM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerchiesKisses    
he understands the concept at a stop... is slow to respond but does at a walk... and ignores the cue in total at anything faster. And he absolutely will not give his neck unless I add a little bit of heel into the mix when asking and then he clues in.

......

I was thinking that if implementing the criss-cross technique it would be more of an automatic thing. The trick would be for the cue-stimulous-response-reward to be more simultanious.
Sounds like he simply just needs more practice with neck reining! Like anything you teach, until they are solid on it, it IS going to fall apart at faster speeds because they are just not ready to advance to that level yet. In that case, there is nothing wrong with giving a reinforcing direct rein to back-up all the rest of the cues you just gave him. It's the same concept of always giving the lightest cue possible first, and give him the chance to respond. If he doesn't, add the next cue and give him the chance to respond. Then add the next cue, etc. until you get him to respond correctly. Eventually with time and practice (and consistency), he will learn to respond to the first lightest cue.

Also, you SHOULD ALWAYS be giving him a leg cue when you ask for any sort of turn (neck rein or otherwise). You should always be using a combination of seat, legs, weight, and reins for any maneuvar. It's just good correct riding with the ultimate goal of not really needing the reins at all! (only needing light cues from your legs and body)

Implementing this criss cross technique is just going to confuse your horse. Guaranteed. Dont' do it.
     
    12-07-2010, 03:16 PM
  #20
Weanling
Hmm... interesting... I've always been taught that the neckreining controls the front, the heels the back. Mind you, I learned everything I know at a dude ranch where finess means nothing and getting the job done is everything lol
     

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