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Old 04-17-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
Baquero
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Default Neck Reining

Do true bridle horses neck rein? One of the neat things about bridle horses is each horse and rider is different. When you put the two together they can make a variety of combinations. A recent discussion over on Facebook that started with the question about the difference between a post rein and a working rein when riding in the hackamore sparked another topic that I think deserves some discussion. I have heard both sides to the discussion and I have ridden horses that have been trained to neck rein and others who don't. I have my preference and what I think a true bridle horse works best with but I will present both sides as I have heard them and hope for a good discussion.

Argument 1:
Yes, bridle horses are the king of neck reining. The bridle reins are built with buttons, these buttons work against the horses neck as a signal. Similarly when training a horse in the hackamore the rider uses a horse hair mecate. The horse hair is prickly and helps the horse recognize this as a signal and works as a neck rein. The horse is trained for the slightest cues, meaning the neck rein is two inches to either side of the center of the horse. The spade bit was built as a neck reining signal device, the straight bar and large cheeks work together to aid in the signaling of the neck rein.

Argument 2:
No, bridle horses are masters of the direct rein. The buttons on the bridle reins are built to provide weight to the rein this weight is part of the direct signal for direct reining. The rein chains are also there to aid in direct reining signals. Ideally the horse is taught to work between the reins, but not with the reins against his neck. The spade bit was not built to function with a neck rein, it was meant as a signal bit that works as the reins are lifted the spoon lifts off the tongue as a signal. The old vaqueros used to use a test, by tying the reins on with a single strand of tail hair. If the hair broke when working a horse the horse was not complete and needed further training. The test was a test to see how hard they had to pull, pulling is not involved in neck reining.

Who do you think is right and which do you think works better?
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
Gunsel
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OK, I agree that a true Bridle Horse ought to stay between the reins. I want my horses too move away from the neck rein much the same way they move off of my legs. I want them to be responsive to my seat and legs so that I can move them anywhere at any speed I want. So when I use my seat, legs and bridle I have straight up Bridle Horse. Does that make sense?
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:58 AM   #3
AEK
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Your first signal to turn your horse should be with your seat followed by your leg. Early in training, while your horse is in the hackamore, you use the hackamore to back up your leg cues if neccessary. By the time you are
are straight up in the bridle you should not be cueing your horse to turn with the bit or reins, it should all be in your seat. This is to allow for free hands during roping. I was under the impression that the bit is to encourage proper head and neck posture as well as collection. If your horse is truely straight up you should be able to manuever him completely in all directions with your seat. IMHO
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:02 PM   #4
Jimmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEK View Post
Your first signal to turn your horse should be with your seat followed by your leg. Early in training, while your horse is in the hackamore, you use the hackamore to back up your leg cues if neccessary. By the time you are
are straight up in the bridle you should not be cueing your horse to turn with the bit or reins, it should all be in your seat. This is to allow for free hands during roping. I was under the impression that the bit is to encourage proper head and neck posture as well as collection. If your horse is truely straight up you should be able to manuever him completely in all directions with your seat. IMHO
Actually this is not true. It is the other way around. Your legs support the action of the reins. For the bridle horse, the actions of the reins and the action of the bit are the signals the horse learns to listen too. The bridle reins are the whole deal. It is a reined horse. Yes, the horse must know the seat, and the legs, and the spur. But the initial signal comes from the reins, the hackamore and the spade. Otherwise, we are not making a reined bridle horse.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:27 PM   #5
Jan
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I don't see why one way or the other has to be "right." I think it's a matter of preference: what do you want from your horse? I want my horse to follow my body, and I support with rein. If you don't want to consider that a "true" bridle horse, it doesn't bother me at all. And the difference is slight because both are happening so simultaneously. Just like I prefer (for the most part) to ask the horse not to move "off" my leg, but to move "toward" where I direct his attention, opening a door with one leg and closing a door with the other and supporting more there if needed. It's almost the same thing but different. I think it creates a softer, more willing attitude.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:40 PM   #6
Mares Tales
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There is a lot to having a horse straight up in the bridle, more than bridle or reins. "A bridle horse"....... the.definition to me is a horse that has allowed the action of "carrying" the bridle go all the way through the horse down to the hind feet without any blockages caused by any hint of a brace, in otherwords, the horse is completely "letting go". When you ride a horse that is truly straight up in the bridle there is a distinct softness that you will feel in the horses loins, the horse being in true self carriage, it is unmistakable and you will not forget that feeling and want to work towards having that in all your horses! " Feels like you could go up a telephone pole, or down a badger hole." The horses is "right there" with you.

Neck reining?.....I would prefer that by the time the horse is in the spade that they be following a feel enough that the bit pretty much just hangs there, afterall, we have gone through stages to get the horse to where he can "carry" that bit.

To answer your question OP, my opinion is that by the time the horse is being ridden in the spade alone, he is following your feel. If I couldn`t ride him so that he was following my feel, instead of relying on the tack, time to back up a step or two or (more)........to see if I missed some things and clear those up.

A wise horseman I knew said, "You never leave square one, you take it with
you."

And may I add that you can always revisit square one when you need to, IF it`s there from the beginning.
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