Training Help.... Please...

Sunshine*

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Jun 16, 2005
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Hey.. I posted this in the "Western" section as well then realized this is probably a better place.. I am attempting to train my horse to neck rein. What are some techniques you use/used? I want loads of ideas. Also, on average how long did it take?
 

Grace O'Malley

Sweetpea Bulge, Hobbiton
Apr 5, 2004
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I have never done this, so hopefully experienced folks will chime in. But in the meantime, what I've read is that you teach the horse to direct rein first. Use a full-cheek snaffle, so that when you open one rein, they feel some pressure on the opposite cheek. Then, once they're good on the direct cues, start giving both direct and indirect cues--so for turn to the right, you'd open the right rein AND lay the left rein against the neck. Then you can start dropping out the direct cues and use only the indirect ones. But this is only a general idea, as most western horses are eventually trained to accept a curb bit and ridden one-handed. As for how long it takes? No idea there; probably varies with both horse and trainer.

Good luck! I'd love to learn some real reining technique someday...

Grace :)
 

Sunshine*

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Jun 16, 2005
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Grace O'Malley said:
I have never done this, so hopefully experienced folks will chime in. But in the meantime, what I've read is that you teach the horse to direct rein first. Use a full-cheek snaffle, so that when you open one rein, they feel some pressure on the opposite cheek. Then, once they're good on the direct cues, start giving both direct and indirect cues--so for turn to the right, you'd open the right rein AND lay the left rein against the neck. Then you can start dropping out the direct cues and use only the indirect ones. But this is only a general idea, as most western horses are eventually trained to accept a curb bit and ridden one-handed. As for how long it takes? No idea there; probably varies with both horse and trainer.

Good luck! I'd love to learn some real reining technique someday...

Grace :)

He's already trained to direct rein.. and as of the end of yesterday both me and another girl have work on him for about three hours... with the direct rein he is naturally better turning left and I'm already kind of sensing a little change when I test the indirect rein only with him.. lol... I guess I'm just hoping it doesn't take long at all.. i hate having to use two hands to rein lol!! Anyways.. i am doing it the way you suggested! I was hoping that someone would mention that!!!
 

Just.Jump

Riding Is My Magic
Apr 20, 2005
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Unless you go to a professional trainer, theres one way you could do it, although I'm not really experienced so you would have to be gentle. Heres the story:

A couple of years ago I was at my evening lesson riding a gelding, and wasn't paying attention. My reins were split, as most western reins are, and I didn't realize that I crossed them before putting them up properly and mounting. My trainer caught this after a few minutes though, as soon as she walked out of the barn and into the arena. She said that that's how old time western trainers would break their horses to neck reining, as they would put the rein over the horses neck, but still pull. Meaning, if you pull the left rein, it is actually attached to the right bit ring, so you're putting pressure on the right side of the face and left on the neck. So it's following the bit pressure, but being introduced to the reins weight on the neck. However, she said that this kind of training does something unpleasant to the musclesin the neck (beulging because of the overlap of reins on the neck or something like that.)


But to really rein you need an unbroken bit and proper neck reining, because neck reining in a broken bit puts pressure on both halves and is therefor not neckreining.
 

Sunshine*

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Jun 16, 2005
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Just.Jump said:
Unless you go to a professional trainer, theres one way you could do it, although I'm not really experienced so you would have to be gentle. Heres the story:

A couple of years ago I was at my evening lesson riding a gelding, and wasn't paying attention. My reins were split, as most western reins are, and I didn't realize that I crossed them before putting them up properly and mounting. My trainer caught this after a few minutes though, as soon as she walked out of the barn and into the arena. She said that that's how old time western trainers would break their horses to neck reining, as they would put the rein over the horses neck, but still pull. Meaning, if you pull the left rein, it is actually attached to the right bit ring, so you're putting pressure on the right side of the face and left on the neck. So it's following the bit pressure, but being introduced to the reins weight on the neck. However, she said that this kind of training does something unpleasant to the musclesin the neck (beulging because of the overlap of reins on the neck or something like that.)


But to really rein you need an unbroken bit and proper neck reining, because neck reining in a broken bit puts pressure on both halves and is therefor not neckreining.

That's an interesting story!! I just may try it!!
He's using a broken bit right now and is actually getting along better then when we used an unroken bit. He wouldn't steer worth crap with the unbroken bit.. as soon as I switched bits, he turned into a supreme horse to turn.. well supreme for a two and a half year old!

Thanks for all the ideas everyone.. I'm always open to more though!
 

Horse Poor

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Jun 25, 2005
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Sunshine, be VERY careful if you decide to try the crossed reins method...it will severely interfere with your "whoa" and you run the risk of losing "direct" control of your horse. From what you've said, I don't think your horse has a good consistant willing response to the direct rein yet...trying to switch him now may only confuse him and compromise what progress you have already made.
 

Sunshine*

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Jun 16, 2005
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Horse Poor said:
Sunshine, be VERY careful if you decide to try the crossed reins method...it will severely interfere with your "whoa" and you run the risk of losing "direct" control of your horse. From what you've said, I don't think your horse has a good consistant willing response to the direct rein yet...trying to switch him now may only confuse him and compromise what progress you have already made.

Ya..> i didn't bother trying it.. to my surprise he already will partially turn left to my neck-riening cues!!!! It's only been two weeks i've been working on it... I'm SOO proud of him!!!!
 
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