girl, horse, riding-788814.jpg

How to Teach Your Horse to Neck Rein

Neck reining is a fundamental skill for any horse, particularly for Western riding. Neck reining allows you to control your horse with one hand, leaving your other hand free for other tasks. In this article, we will discuss how to teach your horse to neck rein.

  1. Start on the Ground

Before you start neck reining in the saddle, it is important to establish the basics on the ground. Start by teaching your horse to respond to pressure on the side of their neck. You can do this by gently applying pressure to one side of their neck and rewarding them for moving their head in that direction.

  1. Introduce the Bridle

Once your horse understands the concept of moving their head in response to pressure, it’s time to introduce the bridle. Start by attaching the reins to the bit and holding them in one hand. Use your other hand to apply gentle pressure to the side of your horse’s neck while pulling on the reins to guide them in that direction. Reward your horse for responding correctly.

  1. Practice in the Saddle

When your horse is comfortable with neck reining on the ground, it’s time to practice in the saddle. Start by riding in a straight line and gently applying pressure to the side of your horse’s neck with the rein in the hand opposite of the direction you want to turn. Your horse should turn in response to the pressure.

Be patient and persistent, and remember to reward your horse for correct responses. Over time, your horse will become more responsive and confident in their neck reining skills.

  1. Gradually Increase Difficulty

As your horse becomes more comfortable with neck reining, gradually increase the difficulty of your exercises. Practice turning in different directions, and try neck reining while trotting or cantering. If your horse struggles with neck reining, go back to basics and practice on the ground before trying again in the saddle.

  1. Reinforce with Voice Commands

In addition to using the reins, it’s also helpful to reinforce your neck reining commands with voice commands. Use a consistent command, such as “over” or “side,” and reinforce the command with the rein. Over time, your horse will start to associate the voice command with the rein pressure and respond accordingly.

In conclusion, teaching your horse to neck rein takes time and patience, but it is an essential skill for Western riding. Start by establishing the basics on the ground, gradually introduce the bridle, and practice in the saddle. Be patient and persistent, and remember to reinforce your commands with positive rewards and voice commands.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top