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Neck reining problem

Hello my name is Sandy. I have a 4 yr old quarter horse mare that I have had for 2 yrs. I'm having a hard time getting her to neck rein. I have tried putting her up to a fence and turning from side to side, walking her around barrels, walking circles,driving her. While working with her to try to train her I drive her with both hands, direct pressure on direct rein while indirect rein on neck for turning. Have been working with her for 2 yrs and she still will not neck rein with out driving her. I'm using a snaffle bit, do I need a differnt bit or different method in neck reining? D'Apple will lunge for me and does well with it.She learned everything else with ease,trailering,walk, back, pick up feet, clipping, come to whistle, walk with me and stop without halter or rope, wait at gate before intering or exit for permission, but not to neck rein. If you could give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Hi Sandy,

It is not about the bit. A snaffle is just fine. Are remembering and using the concept of release of pressure as a reward for the horse trying to comply? Sounds like you have already done some fine work with your horse and must be familiar with the process. However, doing this from the saddle is a different experience for the trainer than it is on the ground. It is so very easy to not be rewarding the horse by the release of the pressure when he tries. But rather to keep steady pressure which ultimately confuses and frustrates the horse. Sounds like there is some confusion and frustration going on and if you are experiencing it, so is your horse. Develop a lighter touch. Reward each little lean in the direction you want. Forget steady pressure. I have found that less is more with horses. We are usually over riding them with our cues. It is easier to release pressure on the ground than from the saddle. It sounds like that is more what is happening with your situation. Can you develop a lighter touch? Can you notice each little effort by the horse to respond as you want and reward it? I would put money on that as the key to your good outcome with this horse. Think about this and tell me your thoughts. Also, slow everything down to slow motion. Once you can do it and feel it slowly, you'll be able to speed things up. Most folks start out too fast with it all and lose sight of the horse'es try and the reward the horse should get for that try.

Please consider this as a good suggestion to really focus on for the results you are looking for. Let me know how it all goes.......

Sincerely, Franklin

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