(Last Updated On: December 22, 2023)

Teaching a horse to neck rein is basic training every horse rider must know about. Neck rein is a popular kind of training by which you can give the horse a cue to move on either side of the neck. There are many trainers teaching a horse to neck rein. It is a bit opposite to the direct rein. This western type of reining, the neck rein, has been popular in the United States. People used to find the cowboy style in the neck rein.

Teaching a horse to neck rein

In this article, I am going to talk about teaching a horse to neck rein.

The objective of the neck rein is simple, just to make the horse understand in what direction you wish him to get. Then, in association with your body language, ask the horse to move forward and change direction accordingly. The good thing about neck rein is to cue the horse in one hand very easily. In case you wish your horse to move its right side, keep the pressure on the left rein, and vice versa. In the neck rein, the horse responds to the tension on the neck instead of pressure on the bit. In this article, I am going to talk about teaching a horse to neck rein. “In its finished state, neck reining is a one-handed maneuver versus riding the horse with two hands,” trainer Al Dunning of Scottsdale, Arizona says. “Riding with two hands on the reins is basically a colt maneuver. If a horse doesn’t neck rein properly, it is hard to control him with one hand for everyday tasks such as roping a cow, opening a gate, or reaching down for your water bottle.” Make the neck reining process in the routine training for the horse you undergo. It is not like that you will only teach the horse to turn in a single day. Rather, this process will come in between other routine training. In the first step, you are to interact with the horse and communicate the signal so that it understands your message. Fortunately, neck rein is a simple process and you need not pay much effort into it when you can make the horse understand your expectation. Horses are intelligent. They can recover from their mistakes soon. Your role is to provide your horse with the right message. Don’t confuse him with repeated changes.

You need to give the horse enough time as it may not be as intelligent as you are. Keep your patience to teach him what is right and wrong. The horse learns these responses by pressure and release. The use of your hand, legs, body, and voice is essential in the entire process. In the case of the neck reining of the horse, you put the reins in one hand. You should not put any tension in the reins so that you can send instructions to the horse via cues on the neck. You will also shift in how the bit sends a message via the slack in the reins in order to shift the horse from one side to another. Set the primary cue during the training process. Hold the rein in one hand. Move the hand in the same direction you wish the horse to move. The outside tension in rein will cause the horse to move. If your horse is positive and gets the message right, it will obey your hints. Start with a gentle walk for the neck rein training process. Don’t go running or jumping at the beginning. Give ample time to the horse to realize the message. When you find perfection repeated times, go with running as well as jumping. You must learn how to neck rein the horse. It is one of the fundamental skills you should successfully apply to the horse. Also With understanding the neck rein, you also be aware of using your leg pressure, voice messages, and body language. As soon as you create tension in the rain so that the horse moves to any direction you desire, move your body as well as the neck.

It will cause the horse to understand your desire intuitively, and it will respond to the cue. In order to make this message comprehensible to the horse, you should do this trick over and over again during the training process. You can send a signal to move aside along with the neck rein by hitting the entire leg on the side you want the horse to turn. It is an optional cue and you may train your horse to learn the hint gradually.

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Neck rein can be an advanced skill for the horse. Therefore, teach your horse the direct rein first in order that it can gradually learn the process. In case you have found that the horse knows the direct rein techniques, you should go with the neck rein learning process.

Tricks like hair, transition, turn can easily be taught by using body parts, in place of rein. It will ease the rein-training process. Moreover, if you are able to teach the movement of the horse by moving your body parts, you may no longer be required to do the neck rein steps. Hold the reins in a loose, neck reining method as the last step of the neck rein. Lay the rein on the horse’s neck in order to send a clue to the horse to turn. Experts say to use a comparatively heavier rein for the training success. By applying the same rick again and again the horse will go with refinement until perfection. Be consistent in matching the new neck reining cues with the now-familiar body and leg cues repeatedly. This endeavor will reinforce the horse’s realization of the new neck reining cues and messages. Recover mistakes in the early stages of the training. You can’t make any changes in cue afterward. Changes are always confusing to horses. Be slow and compassionate during the whole process so that the horse learns everything spontaneously. Gradually the portion of errors will be minimized. Give the horse reward and treat it when it does its job well every time. With some exceptions, it is you who will determine the success of the training process, not the horse.

I hope this article on teaching a horse to neck rein was worth reading.

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