Tag Archives: neck rein

Teaching the beginnings of neck reining with a Paint mare

Question: I bought a 5 year old paint mare and all she is is green broke and I’m just not sure how to start trying to teach her how to start learning to neck rein. Please help me.

Horse running left, facing right

Horse running left, facing right

Answer from April Reeves: True neck reining is the result of a long training regime. You will often see two styles: one where the horse turns his head in the direction of the turn on a ‘soft’ rein, and the other is where the horse turns his head the opposite direction of the turn with the reins reasonably tight. The latter is not the style I hope you are working towards.

In their natural existence, the movement of a horse at speed (canter, gallop) is to lean their shoulders into the turn, but keep their heads in the opposite direction. The instinctual purpose of this is to keep their heads away from predators that may be chasing them. It’s important to know this, as it allows you to understand just how much training is required to reverse such a powerful instinct in a horse to neck rein into the turn, and the amount of time to do that.

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