In the vein of "what sounds fun today", I spent a lot of time this summer in a distinctly old west style locale.
|Is that a buffalo walking down the street?|
Yes that's a buffalo walking down the street.
His name is Jackson.
And I thought.
Ms ZB is literally a purpose-bred ranch horse.
|Oh and she's looking completely fabulous|
Why not teach her to western?
So one night, I googled "how to teach a horse to neck rein", read one of those horrible how-to articles on some random site, and decided to go for it.
Worst case scenario, we can't figure it out, I feed her cookies, and all is well.
|Did I mention she's looking fantastic? She totally is.|
I mean, I don't have a western saddle that's moose shaped and given my status as a tack snob, I can't make do with the cheapest thing on ebay.
But also ZB is a literal couch and we have plenty of easy, slow work we can do before we need to, I don't know, zoom around and sort cows and rope a calf while practicing mounted shooting.
Bareback it is!
My preliminary research indicated if your horse was already reasonably broke and had a good idea of direct reining, the neck reining wasn't terribly different and horses usually picked it up pretty quickly.
I'd call that summation accurate--ZB is one smart lady and as long as she stays focused on what I'm asking, she's quite lovely about the whole thing. It honestly wasn't much of a transition for her in terms of steering. (Now, in terms of how we pretty it up, I dunno. Might take some lessons lol.)
Did you know that riding a horse is kind of like riding a horse and any imbalances, weaknesses, or flaws that you mask with your usual equipment might show up in a whole different way if, say, you dropped most of your tack and tried to provide clear, simple aids?
I know that.
I mean it's literally what I talk about when I transfer the skills learned kicking her ball into letting me pop on in a different setup and start muttering a different language and asking ZB to cooperate.
But it's funny how much the whole bareback-on-a-round horse tells on my tendency to evaporate my right seat bone and curl up my right side when I'm trying to stay balanced and in the middle and strong with my core and consistent with my legs so I can let the reins mean something. (Pro tip: you honestly don't do a whole lot with the reins. It's really more how you ride OH WEIRD WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT BEFORE).
|gonna be cowboys|
Riding is fun, ZB is fantastic, hope your summer is great.