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The Neckstrap

Posted by Patrick Kaye on September 6, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Do everything with the neck-strap. Only enforce with the reins. It's about "communication". There must be a clear "message" in the touches that we give. Soon they can go bridle-free. But I always keep my Kaydle on. (In case of snake bite or other emergencies) I just don't use it. For a while with some horses, I'll even have a PID in its mouth.

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1 Comment

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8:34 AM on November 15, 2011 
I have been fully converted to using the neckstrap. When I started riding with one after meeting Patrick, I was highly dubious about it. It seemed like just another "gadget" to use on the horse. I also hated the way that it restricted my rein movement - the hand holding the neckstrap is less able to open the rein on a circle, etc.

I have had a few sessions with Patrick where we have worked exclusively on the way to use the neckstrap in conjunction with the reins, and boy did that open my eyes. It really adds a new dimension to the communication between me and my horse.

For example, I can PULL on the neckstrap to stop if the horse ignores a gentle touch, and he doesn't panic because I am pulling on his head with reins. He is not inclined to hollow when you slow him with the neckstrap because the bit is not interfering with his head position (the neckstrap sits comfortably at the bottom on his neck). My downwards transisions have become so much easier because of this. My horse also almost always keeps his frame on a downward transision without any effort on my part.

I was also amazed to find out how easy it is to keep a horse in a beautiful frame with the neckstrap. It makes me very happy that not many dressage people use a neckstrap, because it is going to make Legacy and me highly competitive when it comes to entering competitions!

I urge people who are contemplating using a neckstrap to have a few sessions with Patrick - it is almost impossible for me to explain how to use it, but is very easy to pick up when it is shown.

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