outside leg and rein to turn the horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-20-2018, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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outside leg and rein to turn the horse

I;ve just learned to use the outside rein and leg to turn my horse,,I'm new at it,, so i'm surprised that it works... Why does it work? I was so used to using my inside rein ( which now I try to almost never use... )
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-20-2018, 01:57 PM
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The inside leg tells your horse to move away from the pressure creating bend and the outside rein provides a stabilizing effect to keep the horse from drifting out away from the curve, keeps forward momentum and can keep the horse from falling in at the shoulder.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-20-2018, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by luke4275 View Post
I;ve just learned to use the outside rein and leg to turn my horse,,I'm new at it,, so i'm surprised that it works... Why does it work? I was so used to using my inside rein ( which now I try to almost never use... )

If someone comes up behind you and pushes their hand on your shoulder, what do you do? You probably would step to the side away from them to let them pass. You moved away from their hand pressure on your shoulder.

Same goes for the horse. The move away from the pressure we apply with the reins or legs.

So when you neck rein them with the outside rein, they move away. That's why when you want them to turn left, you apply your right rein to the right side of their neck.

If you use a direct inside rein, you are steering their nose (and often the horse will follow his nose).


If you want the shoulders to follow in that same direction, you will move your right (outside) leg slightly forward so that you cue the horse's shoulder to move to the left.

If you want to create bend in the horse's body at the same time, then you can also apply your left (inside) leg in the center to move their ribcage to the right. This creates bend throughout their body, such as if they were traveling on a circle.

Think of the reins as controlling the nose/neck.
Think of your legs controlling the body:

Moving your leg forward will control the shoulders.
Keeping your leg in the middle will control the ribcase.
Moving your leg back will control the hindquarters.

You "push whatever buttons" you need to direct the horse's body where you want it to go.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-20-2018, 02:19 PM
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When you pull on the inside rein you do a couple things simultaneously.

You kil the ability for the inside leg to reach forward. The Hind legs and mouth are related. They can't step forward if that rein is pulling. When turning, the inside leg needs to step more underneath to support themselves.

You bend the neck too much. You break the neck and lose control in the shoulder. I'm sure you've experienced trying to turn, the head turns but the body keeps moving straight. You loose connection between the entire body.

They are thrown off balance. Pulling them around a corner vs supporting and pushing them produces very different body balances.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-20-2018, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post

You break the neck and lose control in the shoulder. I'm sure you've experienced trying to turn, the head turns but the body keeps moving straight. You loose connection between the entire body.
I've seen people do this on purpose. "Flex" the horse's neck side to side while going down the trail in a straight line. And told me I should do it too! But I never understood why I would WANT my horse to give his head while traveling straight. In my mind, I want him to follow his nose. Aren't you almost teaching him to ignore you? Sure, he gives his head nicely, but if his body doesn't follow, why would I want my trail horse to do that? So in an emergency he can bolt with his head at my boot?

I'm sure there are some good reasons to do that. But I personally am not advanced enough of a rider to teach my horses that without understanding the consequences. It just seems like a bad idea with potentially bad consequences.


PS. I always use my outside leg and reins for turns. I am moving the horse (hopefully!) off my rein and heel pressure. If that doesn't work, I will use the inside rein to tip his nose the way I want him to go. But he has already ignored my cues if I have to resort to that.

Really, I think the proper way to turn comes from your leg. Like when I got my greenie back from the trainer all he knew how to do was direct rein (small training budget, he was only there for two months). But he moved off my leg great. So, when teaching him to neck rein, I would give the outside leg cue just a split second before neck reining him. So he was already starting to go the direction I asked. He picked up neck reining pretty easy. I would still have to come in with the direct rein once in a while as a correction. But he learned what neck reining was without a lot of trouble on my part. It seemed to come pretty natural for us, I think because the trainer already had him moving off my legs.

There's a lot of stupid out there!

Last edited by trailhorserider; 07-20-2018 at 02:43 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-20-2018, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
I've seen people do this on purpose. "Flex" the horse's neck side to side while going down the trail in a straight line. And told me I should do it too! But I never understood why I would WANT my horse to give his head while traveling straight. In my mind, I want him to follow his nose. Aren't you almost teaching him to ignore you? Sure, he gives his head nicely, but if his body doesn't follow, why would I want my trail horse to do that? So in an emergency he can bolt with his head at my boot?

I'm sure there are some good reasons to do that. But I personally am not advanced enough of a rider to teach my horses that without understanding the consequences. It just seems like a bad idea with potentially bad consequences.


PS. I always use my outside leg and reins for turns. I am moving the horse (hopefully!) off my rein and heel pressure. If that doesn't work, I will use the inside rein to tip his nose the way I want him to go. But he has already ignored my cues if I have to resort to that.

Really, I think the proper way to turn comes from your leg. Like when I got my greenie back from the trainer all he knew how to do was direct rein (small training budget, he was only there for two months). But he moved off my leg great. So, when teaching him to neck rein, I would give the outside leg cue just a split second before neck reining him. So he was already starting to go the direction I asked. He picked up neck reining pretty easy. I would still have to come in with the direct rein once in a while as a correction. But he learned what neck reining was without a lot of trouble on my part. It seemed to come pretty natural for us, I think because the trainer already had him moving off my legs.
If you are purposely asking them to separate the neck and body, is one thing. I do it often during warm-up as my horse starts stuff and inflexible.
You want them to be able to use their body independently. It's mostly used for schooling and gymnastics. Requires balance and suppleness to maintain a forward walk and flex both ways on the same rhythm.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-20-2018, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
If you are purposely asking them to separate the neck and body, is one thing. I do it often during warm-up as my horse starts stuff and inflexible.
You want them to be able to use their body independently. It's mostly used for schooling and gymnastics. Requires balance and suppleness to maintain a forward walk and flex both ways on the same rhythm.
People who don’t really know what they are doing (like me) should be careful with it. My mare is unbelievably flexible and wriggly as it is and often tries to use this trick to avoid working so I stay away from doing it on purpose. On a side note, I never thought I would be in a position to have to PREVENT a horse from bending. She can twist herself into a pretzel.
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