When starting a western horse how do you use the reins?
 
 

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When starting a western horse how do you use the reins?

This is a discussion on When starting a western horse how do you use the reins? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How long are typical western reins
  • Starting the western horse

 
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    06-26-2009, 02:28 PM
  #1
Weanling
Red face When starting a western horse how do you use the reins?

When typically starting a western horse that will eventually neck rein do you start immediately with two reins in one hand or use both hands? I am a very experienced english rider that has dealt with young and green horses, but have recently aquired a project barn that needed a volunteer for their horse program. Most of the horses are donated by a cowboy and the people are accustomed to puttering around in an arena twice a month. The Cowboy who owns all the horses inisists they are completely trained western but I have a feeling, being the large guy he is, he hauls their neck to one direction or the other. I am not ooposed to using neck reining, but from the reining videos and competitions I have seen it is a very accurate steering system where the horse is extremly sensitive to feeling the reins on the neck, and its just a different cue being taught, instead of an inside outside rein combination to ask for the same movement. I also am curious how much leg yeilding is involved in more precise movements, because I am sure that some must be involved, but these horses are unresponsive. Help! I really want to educate these people more about the principals of riding, but I need to teach the horses it seems. Some of the people are not opposed to my methods, but I also want a leg to stand on when discussing western technique with the Cowboy because he is fairly closed off to English riding. I have ridden a few nice western horses and I can steer quite easily when they aren't the rental type western horses (which is what the Cowboys horses remind me of). Anyways, my original question turned into a plea for insight! I'm new here and needed a place to get some more general equine knowledge. Thanks!
     
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    06-26-2009, 03:15 PM
  #2
Weanling
Western riding starts like english riding. Teaching the horse to do the basics.
Snaffle bit. Two hands.
Breaking at the pole, giving to the bit, listening to aids, and establishing a sense of self carriage and not having the horse reliant on constant bridle contact.
You want to be able to drive them up into the bridle and collect...but, eventually, without excessive bit contact.

Western really isnt that different. Start the same with only slightly different finishes.
     
    06-26-2009, 03:53 PM
  #3
Weanling
Thanks! That's exactly how I felt too! A good foundation, with emphasis on being in front of the leg, and flexibility of poll and the horses body! I knew the principles had to be similar.
     
    06-26-2009, 05:32 PM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckOff41570    
Western riding starts like english riding. Teaching the horse to do the basics.
Snaffle bit. Two hands.
Breaking at the pole, giving to the bit, listening to aids, and establishing a sense of self carriage and not having the horse reliant on constant bridle contact.
You want to be able to drive them up into the bridle and collect...but, eventually, without excessive bit contact.

Western really isnt that different. Start the same with only slightly different finishes.
very well said
     
    06-30-2009, 12:27 AM
  #5
Foal
Just wanted to add a thought to other posts there are 2 methods of neck reining/leg pressure some teach horse to turn away from leg pressure so left rein left leg makes horse go right others teach horse to turn into presssure so left rein right leg horse goes right it is much easier to teach a horse to turn into pressure than away because of the flight animal instinct most cow horses here are taught to turn into leg pressure hope this makes sense to you
     
    07-01-2009, 06:23 AM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by rider    
just wanted to add a thought to other posts there are 2 methods of neck reining/leg pressure some teach horse to turn away from leg pressure so left rein left leg makes horse go right others teach horse to turn into presssure so left rein right leg horse goes right it is much easier to teach a horse to turn into pressure than away because of the flight animal instinct most cow horses here are taught to turn into leg pressure hope this makes sense to you

I have to dissagree with this. A horse, being a flight animal, will always naturally move away from pressure...not towards it. Moving into the pressure counter acts the horse's natural instincts.
     

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