More on why we should not manipulate the neck with the reins
I will pick a little on myself rather than others when it comes to the INTENTION of the reins. After thinking a lot about this, I found it`s not about the pressure, it`s about the intention. The pictures are of a young mare on her first competition. I think it`s 2013 or 2014
The first picture reflects her true state. I`m not manipulating her neck. My aim is to support and allow her in tølt and this is how she can do it at the time
Trot might look flashy, but this is where she is totally on the front end. I have lost all contact with the hind legs. There isn`t much pressure on the reins but my hands are low. My aim is not to support and allow, but to shape the neck.
Luckily there`s canter! The horse naturally lifts the back and pushes forward from behind, due to the nature of the gait, her neck shapes itself.
In walk she can stretch forward and down on long reins. At least she is happy and relaxed
The neck will reflect the true state of the horse, if we leave it alone. When we reach the hind legs and the back is active the neck will come along as a result of this being in place. If we manipulate the neck it might look flashy, but it`s not going to benefit the physical nor the mental state of the horse, cause we loose the hind legs. We risk training the horse to curl the neck without engaging the hind.
The best is of course to get both right, which takes time✨