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Riding a reiner?
#11
I have ridden finished reiners, whom were of the non- reactive type/lazy. To get the ultimate skills out of them you had to ask correctly for them to perform. For my seventh ride in six months, I rode a reiner in a lesson and I didn't even get a lope out of him as I was not sitting or cueing just right. The horse was soft in the bridle and it took very little give him direction. Each horse is different though.
You need to get on and let him carry you around without any hold on him,then start very subtlely with cues of hands/legs/seat, testing just how much pressure you need to get him turn, change gait, stop, etc. As was said, some contact can be used to frame the horse but don't hold it. Reiners are used to seat/leg /weight cues more than someone having a hold of their face. Test him out and enjoy.
Cayuse
A lovely horse is always an experience...It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. Beryl Markham
Riding is a complicated joy. You learn something each time. It is never quite the same, and you never know it all. Monica Dickens
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#12
I ride my daughters finished reiner. They are fun and responsive
but you really don't need to worry that if you give a "special cue" that the horse is suddenly going to start spinning. The cues to slide and spin are not common cues and unlikely to be triggered unintentionally. Plus they need special shoes to slide and sliding without them isn't a good idea due to the wear and tear on the legs.

My guess is that if he's been ridden for years without someone using the correct cues that he's forgotten most of them! LOL

Number one thing... don't ever say "Whoa" unless you want a dead stop cause these horses are taught to stop on a dime.

They are also taught to respond to pressure in the stirrup. If you are at a trot and lower your heels you should feel the gate get slower. Ditto for lope. Experiment to see how little of a cue you can use.

As to him being lazy, a little tune-up should help that. The biggest difference I see in reining horses is that when you cue something whether it be a faster/slower pace, a spin whatever... you cue ONCE (as softly as possible). The reiner is expected to continue doing what you have cued until you cue something else. Iron clad rule. So if I ask my reiner to speed up, he is expected to continue at that pace without any additional cues. FOREVER! LOL If he doesn't he gets a pretty strong correction to let him know he goofed. That's how we get the nice quiet ride expected for showing. Slidin Stop is absolutely correct that the speed cue comes from pressure in the leg. The more you tense and grip the faster you will go (because in a sense you are cueing, cueing, cueing..... relax, and think about sitting really deep.

We also sit on our pockets and round our back more than other western sports. You may want to invest in a decent reining saddle, as they are better designed to have closer contact with the horse and the fenders are set much further forward. While we do have a showing class called "Short Stirrup" (for young riders!) I don't see many reiner's in shortened stirrups as Crooked post noted (May be a West Coast/East Coast thing). In fact, most of the ones I know like to "stand up" in their stirrups while we are trotting and loping...makes the horse look smoother and you really can't tell from the ground.

I'd be happy to help you with specific cues or if your horse is doing something you don't understand. For now I'd concentrate on getting the horse round and collected. A reiner should never be heavy on the bit, I ride with almost no rein pressure (as long as the horse is collected).

Can you take a few lessons with a reining trainer? Failing that Stacey Westfall has some dvds out that I like very much.

Have fun!!!
<'\__~
_(( // ====

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#13
The thing about finished horses is... they come right down to your level of riding (for the most part)... then as you progress in your skill level, they come right back up with you. With this horse having been used for a general lesson horse, I can all but guarantee he's gotten numb to miscues and that you don't have to worry about doing anything wrong.

They're all certainly individuals... my old retired guy anyone can get on, and if they even get it in the ballpark, he'll do it correctly, spin, stop, change leads, rollback, etc, albeit at turtle speed as he knows when he's packing a newbie, and knows to ignore weight shifts in the saddle, yadda yadda. My current show mare, is NOT one to pack anyone beyond beyond a skilled rider or my hubby, who occassionally just trailrides on her or sits quiet while I work something else. She's not newbie material whatsoever, nor will she ever be... too sensitive/responsive. If you don't ask in exactly the right manner, she's not going to do it for you and then she'll get upset because you're doing it wrong. She's an exception rather than a rule.

Your guy has already established he can pack the clueless if he's a general lesson horse. So really I wouldn't worry about getting on him. What he once was, is not what he is currently (not without some serious tuning) and as most horses are lazy by nature, I BET he's not going to give you anymore than you ask for. Smile
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#14
Well that's the thing, he has not been used as a lesson horse. I FINALLY got a chance to ride him today and I can see why. He IS lazy! Actually, the barn owner was telling me that he just does not respond at all to the little tykes, he is better with adults/heavier riders. It is going to take me some time to figure him out. I found it difficult to get him to respond to the calf squeeze unless I really scootched back to the cantle. I can see where a reining saddle would help as I found it difficult to really get good leg contact. But I did manage to touch on the gas pedal a bit. He kept wanting to slow down in the corners, slow down near the feed room, slow down near his friends over by the mounting block etc. Really had to keep after him. I did not manage to get him to lope, only to trot really really fast and think about loping, by that time my legs were about numb so I decided to try again next time. I put my daughter on him and after some initial frustration, she posted the trot and he kept going pretty nicely. I'm looking forward to riding him again, but I sure would like to know the key that unlocks the door and see what he is like when he really responds.
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#15
quote:
Originally posted by elizNY

Well that's the thing, he has not been used as a lesson horse. I FINALLY got a chance to ride him today and I can see why. He IS lazy! Actually, the barn owner was telling me that he just does not respond at all to the little tykes, he is better with adults/heavier riders. It is going to take me some time to figure him out. I found it difficult to get him to respond to the calf squeeze unless I really scootched back to the cantle. I can see where a reining saddle would help as I found it difficult to really get good leg contact. But I did manage to touch on the gas pedal a bit. He kept wanting to slow down in the corners, slow down near the feed room, slow down near his friends over by the mounting block etc. Really had to keep after him. I did not manage to get him to lope, only to trot really really fast and think about loping, by that time my legs were about numb so I decided to try again next time. I put my daughter on him and after some initial frustration, she posted the trot and he kept going pretty nicely. I'm looking forward to riding him again, but I sure would like to know the key that unlocks the door and see what he is like when he really responds.



I would suggest that you review his feed program to make sure he has a healthy well balanced diet.

I would then suggest that you go back to basics with some ground work, progressing to lunging then back to riding. This will establish some direct rapport with him. (BTW, what is is name).

I think you will be surprised at the result once he knows that you are going to be part of his life from now on.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#16
Hook, you are either an optimist or know something I don't know! I don't know how much involvement I will have with him as I am currently unemployed....I am happy to have the opportunity to get on a horse once in a great while instead of standing on the sidelines as I have been (sold my horse in feb. when I was laid off, was called back part-time for a few months, and am now on "temporary layoff" until who knows when). I am hoping to just be able to get on him once a week when I bring my daughter for lessons. Obviously, I have to take a backseat to paying customers. On the other hand, even with all the horse-crazy kids here, he still isn't generally well-liked, due to his reluctance to move out when asked, or everyone's inability to figure out how to make him do so.
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#17
I am an optimist,[:I] but fate has a way of helping sometimes. [^]

Hope your employment situation turns around now that the economy is starting an upward trend.

Spend as much time as you can with the reiner and see what develops. You never know what can happen.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#18
I rode the horse again today, he was a bit better in that he did not try to stop as much, but it was still hard to really get him going. I found that he is most responsive to a calf squeeze when I slide my leg WAY back, is this normal? I am really liking this horse, he goes along on a long, loose rein that I could only dream of when I had my WP horse, maintains a nice steady speed once you get him going, but I am just missing the magic gas pedal. Any other suggestions?
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#19
Yup...spurs! I hate them and don't use them very often on my own horses...but some horses have been ridden with them so much, that they will not respond much without them. MOST of the reiners I've seen, have been ridden with spurs.

Of course, you would want to use caution while you find out how he responds to them. But I really think spurs would help a great deal.

EZ2SPOT
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#20
Glad to hear think are improving.

When we had Hookie in basic training with with a reining trainer he used a kissing sound to trot and a clucking sound to lope. Traditionally the kissing is to lope and the clucking to trot.


You might try some voice command variations as you cue him to change gaits. Of course being very quiet in the saddle with your body and only moving your legs and reins to cue may help as well.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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