As some know I recently brought my new horse home. He is amazing. Impeccable ground manners, very calm, stoic, and even tempered. Our riding needs some work though. And by “our” I mean me!
He is a finished Western horse that was broke by cowboys and put to work moving cattle and checking fences. He neck reins and is rather sensitive. He does not appreciate direct reining. I mostly rode gaited horses prior and always rode with 2 hands and direct reining. Even in horse lessons this past year it was always 2 hands. I “understand” neck reining and think it’s amazing but I seem to have a hard time steering him. To change direction I simply hold on with 1 hand and lay the outside rein on his neck, look where I want to go and naturally have my body follow, and give slight pressure with the outside leg to push him over (unless we’re turning around/going around an object: I disengage the hindquarters). I’m careful to leave slack and not accidentally pull on the outside rein, that would give conflicting cues. When I do this he seems very confused and I can’t get him to turn unless I start really pushing the shoulder over. I know this horse can move on a dime so any tips, tricks, things to try would be appreciated!
He also is very “backwards” on the ground. Throws himself in reverse with a glance. He seems uncomfortable if he is loose and I’m standing at his sides petting him. He will always reverse himself so his head is in front of me instead of his side. He doesn’t want to leave. He likes my company but doesn’t want me at his side. Curious what he’s trying to tell me?