• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Train old horse to neck rein or new boyfriend to ride with contact?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Train old horse to neck rein or new boyfriend to ride with contact?

    Not sure if this would be better in the Trail forum but I thought I would start here.

    Situation: my boyfriend likes my horses and wants to ride. Great! He rode horses western when he was a little kid and learned how to neck rein on what I imagine were relatively well-trained horses.

    The horse he's riding is my Trakehner, who is a retired show horse. He was trained in both dressage and jumping and goes in an eggbutt snaffle. The first ride yesterday went great, but the concept of riding with contact is completely foreign to BF. I got a western saddle but we're using his regular bridle. The goal here is easy going walk/trot rides around the property and eventually in the adjoining park.

    So, a couple questions:

    1) Would it make more sense to teach the horse to neck rein or the rider to ride with contact? Neither pick up new things particularly quickly. The horse is usually quiet but he does have some "go" in him and isn't a babysitter outside of the arena.

    2) If it makes more sense to teach the horse to neck rein, should he go in a curb bit? I don't think he's ever had a curb in his mouth, but I'm not sure. I've know how to neck rein and ride with a curb, but I've never trained a horse to do it.

    My initial thought is I'm better at instructing humans than training horses and on the chance the horses gets a little lively about something riding with direct contact would be better.


  • #2
    Why does he need to trail ride on contact? I don't know anyone who does that regardless of their style of saddle. Horses need to be able to use their head and neck going up and down hills. Teach your boyfriend to direct rein in the direction he wants to turn.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      With enough direct rein work as well as your boyfriend using his leg to help cue a turn, your horse should pick up neck reining relatively quickly. I've never actually taught any of mine to neck rein; they just pick it up as they go along. And they neck rein fine in a snaffle. For most horses I've ridden that do neck rein - the majority of the steering isn't coming from the bridle, it's coming from the seat and legs.


      • #4
        Although I work with beginner riders being told to neck rein daily, I really don't get it. In my mind, neck reining is for skilled riders on finished (western) horses. Otherwise you just have a lot of static/muddled communication and not a lot of control. So then you need a shanked bit for brakes rather than for subtle communication, roundness and vertical flexion on very light contact.

        I agree with Laurierace and Tee; I rarely use much contact on the trail and while I usually direct rein, my rides have generally picked up neck reining through context. If I'm cueing a turn with my seat, squeezing my outside leg and pressing the rein against the outside of the neck and there is a fork in the road, it really should make sense to the horse to turn. If they are confused, quickly catching the inside rein to directly cue the turn reinforces the lesson.

        Your boyfriend doesn't need to be asking for vertical flexion on the trail. Your horse who goes well in an eggbutt doesn't need a shanked curb in addition to less experienced hands. Anyone who rides a horse should (IMO) know how to direct rein. But you can compromise by teaching your horse to go nicely on a loose rein, and if your boyfriend is fair with his aids, you could go for any number of stronger bits on the line between an eggbutt snaffle and a shanked curb bit.

        If the BF won't be riding in the front of a group of horse or on narrow trail, instruct him to use a one-rein stop if the horse gets too strong. I don't like the one-rein stop as the universal solution to all problems, but it could be useful here.

        Lucky you finding a guy who wants to ride!
        Last edited by HillnDale; Sep. 17, 2012, 12:00 AM. Reason: (edited for a glaring typo. gazing typos left as they were.)
        An auto-save saved my post.

        I might be a cylon


        • #5
          I don't think horse will do better for BF with constant contact. BF will probably be too heavy on the reins just because he lacks skills horse is used to. Plus if he already is hanging on the reins constantly, horse never gets relief, won't notice the pull if he wants to spook or go faster.

          A suggestion is to put horse in a mechanical hackamore, with nothing in his mouth to bug him. Then teach BF to use outside leg WITH outside rein, to get horse to fake a neck rein response when asked to turn. All our horses can do the fake neck rein thing, fools everyone. I would also have BF use BOTH HANDS on the reins, which will keep his body balanced and not leading with one shoulder or weighting one hip. That is hard on a horse being ridden for distance or over a couple hours time out on the trails.

          The mechanical hackamore should not need constant contact, but will give some leverage pressure if horse gets very strong to slow or stop. I use a mechanical hackamore for little kids who have poor balance, might be hanging on the reins, but NEED to be able to stop the bigger and stronger horse. Kid MUST win every time! Person safety ALWAYS trumps horse comfort for that moment of stopping!! Horse has to stay under kid's/rider control. With no mouthpiece, horse mouth is not getting pulled or ripped on by rein leverage. Leverage with curb strap, still keeps horse controllable for the rookie riders.

          I would suggest a mechanical hackamore like this model, with addition of a fleece noseband over the rubber part. Makes it quite comfortable to the horse nose. I would remove that chain curbstrap, probably try a leather one if your horse is not used to leverage bits. Some horses can just work better in chain curbs than they do in leather. You will need to ride and see how he responds to make your choice. He sounds like a bigger horse, so you use the curb strap or chain that works for him, to get him stopped.


          I would NOT recommend the English Mechanical Hackamore, because I have seen horses run right thru them. No stopping power, even with the chain curbstrap. I believe the lack of stop is because the cheeks are not fixed firmly to a solid noseband, leather straps just fold up, sides dig into horse face with no real leverage action. I have only seen them used by folks who see them as kind and fuzzy, no real knowledge of needing to STOP a powerful horse. Never see them at any Western activities, because they don't work as needed to keep control of the horse. So do NOT buy this model:


          I think you can finesse both the horse and BF, teach them a few new things, so they can cooperate on trail rides if you use the mechanical hackamore. It will let you have a more enjoyable ride, not worrying about BF losing control of a big horse who is not a beginner ride. Horse is comfortable, not being nagged in the mouth with untrained hands while you are out.


          • Original Poster

            Thank you all for the replies. Yes, I am definitely lucky - he likes the horses, the Poodle, and even the cats. The smell of manure does make him gag, but I think he's being a bit dramatic.

            A bit of clarification - by "contact" I mean having a light feel of the horse's mouth so one could use a direct or leading rein. BF learned that reins should be very long and you ride from your seat and legs and use a neck rein. He understands everything except using a direct rein. I don't have concern about him hanging on the horse's mouth, but rather concern about not having any contact at all.

            Originally posted by goodhors View Post
            I think you can finesse both the horse and BF, teach them a few new things, so they can cooperate on trail rides if you use the mechanical hackamore. It will let you have a more enjoyable ride, not worrying about BF losing control of a big horse who is not a beginner ride. Horse is comfortable, not being nagged in the mouth with untrained hands while you are out.
            A hackamore is a great idea and one I had not thought of. I *am* concerned about stopping power outside of a controlled environment. The horse is not huge, but a solid 16hh old-style warmblood. He's 25 but still has some "get up and go" in him, and does see the occasional goblin. BF is doing a nice job of learning to read the horse's body language and watch his ears, and he chooses to wear a helmet, which is good. Horse is doing a nice job of channeling a western pleasure mount and is walking around quietly.

            I think I'll set up some cones to weave through to practice steering; it should help both horse and rider. BF did very well last night riding to specific letters and halting or turning at a designated spot, and he was decent with some large serpentines. I'm trying to keep the rides short and fun and frequent - yesterday was 15 minutes, today will be 15-20.

            Thanks again!


            • #7
              Originally posted by TrakHack View Post
              A bit of clarification - by "contact" I mean having a light feel of the horse's mouth so one could use a direct or leading rein. BF learned that reins should be very long and you ride from your seat and legs and use a neck rein. He understands everything except using a direct rein. I don't have concern about him hanging on the horse's mouth, but rather concern about not having any contact at all.
              I've ridden trail horses that direct reined with no contact, no problem. From watching, I find that the folks used to VERY loose reins tend to figure out pretty quickly that they need to shorten their reins a bit so that they don't have to move their entire arm to signal a change in direction, but the reins can still be loose with no regular contact. It's just keeping them from being so long that you look like a windmill when you're trying to take up the slack to turn.