"Look where you are going" or "look up" are probably two phrases we have all heard at some point in our riding career.
When starting out with riding horses you are being taught that riding horses is done with with your body language by looking up where you want to go and by using your balance.However....
One of the most asked question we get is "what size neckrope do I need" or "Which neckrope size is best for my horse"
To answer this question in depth we thought it would be a great idea to show all of you how our sizing system works and how you can find out which neck rope size your horse needs in just two simple steps....
“Harmonious Partnerships in all Disciplines”
Recently, I heard a phrase that really stood out to me and has been running through my head for the past few weeks, “It is not the method that matters, it is how the method is applied.” I can’t think of a sport that phrase applies to more accurately than equestrianism. Within the equestrian world, there are dozens of disciplines, and within those disciplines there are hundreds, if not thousands, of methods of training. But each of those disciplines has a similar goal, and that is to partner up with your horse and achieve unity. Whether it’s a rancher and cutting horse working together to bring cows in, a show jumper working on getting around the course clear, a dressage rider and horse in training to flawlessly execute the movements, an endurance team getting through the last few miles, or a trick trainer teaching their horse to bow, they all are striving to bring the best out of their horse.
In trying to achieve greatness within these disciplines, there are a multitude of different methods that people use to try to get the best results out of their horses. Of course there are methods that I do not personally support, and some that I stand up against, like rollkur and other aggressive or abusive methods. Other than those methods though, I really believe that each method can be constructive and positive, if they are applied correctly, and with the horse’s best interests in mind. Unfortunately that is something I feel like a lot of people lose sight of when working with horses. They forget that they are working with a living, breathing, feeling being that has opinions and desires, who has to be willing and able to do what you are asking. They forget to put their horse’s best interests first, and get caught up in competition or get frustrated because their partner is unable to progress as fast as they want them to. This is where the “application” part of the phrase comes into play. You can be practicing the kindest and most gentle method around, yet if you are not willing to listen to your equine partner and address their limitations and needs, you can end up with a frustrated and unhappy horse.
In order to keep a harmonious and productive team, it is important to take the time to understand your horse: what gets them/keeps them interested, their strengths and weaknesses, how long they can concentrate for, what kind of praise makes them feel good, how quickly they learn new thing, etc. etc. Keeping all these things in mind and adjusting your method and training techniques to fit your horse’s needs is key to a successful relationship with your equine partner. There are many ways to get closer to your horse to better understand them. Personally, I believe that all people in all disciplines can benefit from working (or even just observing) their horse at liberty. Seeing how they interact with you, and with other horses is a great way to understand them on a deeper level. Working with them from the ground, whether at liberty or not, is a great way in general to connect with them, and allows you insight into their mental state as well as giving you a better understanding of how they move.
So whether you practice Parelli’s natural horsemanship, pattern barrels, or study the high school of dressage, just remember that it’s the way you train that determines the success of you and your horse. No matter what the discipline is, a horse treated with love, respect, and understanding will go farther and try harder than one treated with disregard, force, or aggression!
xxx Tara, ambassador of the Free riding neckropes team
(our very first blog post, it's a fact!)
As I'm working with neckropes daily, either making them or working with my horse with a neckrope, I automatically asume that the entire equestrian world knows what they are...
When I was on holiday with my horse Bauke (still am actually) I told this girl at the stables Bauk and I temporary stand that I sold neckropes. She didn't had a clue what a neckrope was so I showed her one of my own.
As apparently not the entire equestrian world knows what they are I thought it would be nice to dedicate my first blog post about what neckropes are and what I use them for.
Neckropes, what are they? I've come to the conclusian that it's actually pretty hard to explain to people what neckropes are since the possibilities are endless but I'll try to do it as good as I can...
To start with I'm going to tell you guys what I use neckropes for. I use for many difrent things such as liberty training, tricktraining and bridless/neckrope riding.
Why do I like to use my neckrope with liberty training? With liberty training I like to have to have my horse free, that's why I use the term Liberty. The next question people usually ask me is: ''But your horse isn't free, he's wearing a neckrope.'' And yes that's true he is wearing a neckrope but because the neckrope is so light of weight it doesn't influence his actions but if something would happen I'd be able to grab him so for me it is the perfect tool to work to complete liberty.
I like riding with my neckrope since I tent to use my reins to much. With neckrope riding I don't have any reins, I only have my neckrope, voice and body language. What I noticed when I rode with a neckrope for the first time is that I used my reins to much. Neckrope riding learned me to use my body language and voice wich are just as important, maybe even more than your reins. It made me a better equestrian.
Last but not least the reason why I like to use my neckrope during tricktraining is because it helps my horse understand what I ''want'' from him. I use the neckrope to give him cue's nut ofcourse I also like seeing my horse beinhg handsome in one of my own neckropes ?
As I said, you can use a neckrope for many diffrent things but this is what I use them for. Do you use your neckrope for something else? let me know and maybe I'll feature you in one of our next blog posts.
Lots of love,
xoxo Marthe and Bauke ❤