I think I'll teach him to neckrein in the arena first, and then do bareback, then start just using a neckstrap with a bridle there just in case. He's only 5, so he doesn't know a lot yet. I did try getting on bareback right off the bat once, with no tack warmup, and he bolted when I was getting on >.<
That's a good plan to start. Keep in mind what Avna mentioned about riding tackless being a finishing act. There is quite a bit of training under tack before one can successfully ride without. Not just neck reining, but your horse should be able to stop, go and turn with seat, as well as be able to bend and perform lateral without the help of any rein. Train so that your horse is moving off the smallest possible cue you can make. If he moves off X amount of leg, try getting him to move sideways off an even smaller amount of pressure. if he is moving well off leg, see If he will move off seat alone etc.
Had the first private lesson in a while (my brother got a detention, the loser) - godDAMN was it hard!! He was using his hindend and really pushing, especially in the trot. We covered so much ground, it felt like 3 strides for the entire longside! We were struggling in the canter though...he was still picking up the wrong lead on the left rein consistantly, and he wouldn't turn! Had to run him into the fence, and I got my leg crushed against it :((( But all in all, we learnt a lot! I definitely want to do more private lessons - just maybe in a couple more weeks lol.
Has he always had difficulty in turning in the canter? have you investigated if this is a physical issue?
I ask this because It reminds me of what has happened with my horse in the past. he started having subtle difficulty turning to the left (wouldn't turn with only my seat), then it very slowly became worse and worse. He'd do everything else okay and never looked off, so my trainers thought he was just stiff. However, I had the suspicion that it was something else as he was never a horse to fight against me. I went through a few vets until we finally found out his coffin bone on the left was tipped and unlevel due to shoeing! Once that was fixed, that problem went away. Of course, It could also just be training, but I thought I'd mention It just in case.
Clean up our presentation. We look kind of scruffy. Nothing too extreme, I donít think. Just clipping the long hairs off his legs and jaw/neck, keeping his mane out of the way, plus whatever I have to do for my uniform and all that.
You two already look good, but here are a few ideas to polish up your uniform for shows and events:
- Tuck in your polo shirt and add a belt
- Add a pair of clean half chaps
- Add a pair of black gloves
- french braid hair. For a show: french braid your hair and then run the end of the braid up and underneath the french braid and secure into place. Then, add a hairnet.
- secure the extra nylon material from your helmet out of the way. I do this by using black braiding elastics as extra keepers, then twist the left over material around the harness, so that It is not hanging down.