Although Pete is only halfway finished with our two-year program, he neck reins better than a lot of horses. Pete will go any direction including reverse with two inches of movement. Much like a kid with a joy stick, you can rest your wrist on the saddle horn and ride along. You never have to move your hand off the horn to change directions. You just move your wrist a little and turn. Although we expect all our horses at graduation to handle in a similar fashion, Pete is head of his class for now.
Training in neck reining starts the first week at this ranch by making small little lessons that fit with the other training that builds to the point that most of our horses understand the concept of neck reining in the first 60 to 90 days. By not cramming these important lessons into a fixed or rigid schedule, it allows them to complete the neck reining part of the program slowly and at a their own pace. This slow, steady repetition produces a horse that wants to respond to small movements voluntarily and gives you a flexible, soft neck that makes the horse easy to ride.
No doubt some horses, just like Pete, take to it faster than others. Pete has the cutting horse and reining horse blood that makes him a natural. He likes to work the livestock and enjoys the task of moving and herding them. For me personally, I just like to ride along with my hand resting on the saddle horn like a kid with a joy stick and look at the beautiful scenery as we go by. Ahhhhhhhhh the lazy way to trail ride!