Non-USA 4 year old  TWH, ridden in  mullen bit, no port, no curb chain, no shanks and western tennessean saddle in corral, pastures, fields by intermediate rider.

Question: What is the best way to train my young walker to neck rein. He gets it sometimes, if that's the way he wants to go, and other times he seems to pull and fight the bit.  I ride him with a lose reign and he responds fairly well with this mild bit which is solid and fairly thick.  He is very gentle, willing, very calm under saddle and his gaits are fine, we just need some help with the reigning training, which I've never done before.  He's been broke to ride for 1.5 years.  He's a stout 15.2 HH (built a little like a QH)and is very strong.



From Panelist Lee

To teach any horse to neck rein, you teach him to work off your weight and legs, not just move away from the rein against his neck.  At a slow, ordinary walk, begin to ask him to turn (say, to the right) by opening  the right rein, shifting your weight in the saddle a little to the right buttock, and pressing into his side with the LEFT leg.  At the same time, 
lightly drape the left rein against his neck, just in front of the withers.
Do NOT pull this rein back or to the side, merely drape it across his neck while you give the main signal with your leg, weight and right rein.Practice, practice, practice, in both directions (using the opposite signals to turn left, obviously) and gradually decrease the use of the opening (leading) rein and rely more and more on your legs, weight and the 
light touch of the neck rein to turn the horse.  Takes a little time, but the horse will eventually start to turn with a gentle arc in the direction  of the turn.

Good luck.

Lee Ziegler

From Panelist Laura
Sounds like you have a nice horse & just need to show him what you want.  

To teach your horse neck reining, it is probably easiest to just start applying a little indirect rein along with your normal direct reining cue - you will also give an outside leg cue.  (This means that if you are turning to the left, the left rein is your direct rein, the right rein is the 
indirect rein, and your right leg is your outside leg.)   Essentially you give a light pull with the direct rein, gently lay the indirect rein across the neck as you turn and press your outside leg (calf) against the horse's side.  As the horse gives you a good turn, tell him what a good boy he is and just continue using this method every time you do any type of turn.  With time & patience, your horse will figure out what the leg & reining cues mean. 
 Enjoy your horse.
 Laura

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