THE PLEASURE REIN
As a prolific 'Problem Horse'
Trainer of 50 Years, I find it quite incredible that People
cannot see the damage done to Horses everywhere by People
hanging onto Reins like a 'Dummy' or 'Worry Beads'. This
failed habit without logic is responsible for nothing but
negativity in Horse Training with some of those being:
I am not a rabid 'Greenie' when it comes to the training of Horses but have learnt that if You want the very best relationship with Your Horses, like our Horses, you should ride as we do and that being...........
"When training or competing in the 'English Disciplines', RIDE THE HORSE COMPLETE AND PROPER DRESSAGE. Round, On the Bit, Supple, Straight and all the rest. Accept no incorrectness.......BUT at all other times, 'RIDE ON THE PLEASURE REIN', so what is a 'Pleasure Rein'?
WHAT IS A PLEASURE REIN?
** For a Horse to be relaxed on a 'Pleasure Ride' it has to lower it's Neck. Horses ridden on the British Rein, cannot do so and therefore can never be relaxed. (which of course is one of the contributing factors to there being so many accidents in the UK)
Pictured on left an Australian Lass visiting Britain and on right, two British ridden Horses, ***Note the happiness of the Horse on the left!!
certainly and admirably from my point of view, shows the 'relaxed, Happy Horses'
but my point here (yes, being pedantic) is that these Reins are longer than I
use or would recommend. Especially if those Learning to ride are concerned, So
how do we arrive at the perfect length of Rein, that gives:
The perfect example comes from the Queen, seen here alongside a bad example.
for further actual examples, please see some of my 'starters' on their first rides out into the World.
SO HOW DO WE ACHIEVE REIN CONTROL PLUS RELAXATION?
The answer is
RIDING OLD DOBBIN
Yes, of course, we all have the luxury of letting the Head go way out with 'Old Faithful' but trust me, even they will meet the most frightening thing possible and "do the Bolt', therefore, the speed of Rein Handling is also a crucial factor in teaching Novices as much as the length of Rein.
THE FRONT BRAKES DO NOT HELP YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...contrary to all the brainwashing of the British systems. Trust me, two Reins do not help (you pull, they pull back, force meets force, they are stronger), especially with Kids of Ladies due to the strength factor, so read this.......
IF YOU HAVE 'AIR BRAKES' Life is safe for You.
Hi I have read your article online about horses
that reef and more than likely do this as their rider is putting
unnecessary contact on the reins. My problem is. I take my horse out
trail riding (he's very lazy) I ride him on the buckle and I have no
contact with his mouth as it is not needed but he still reefs at the
reins and it drives me nuts! How can I stop this? I know he hates
contact, he would be worse with contact but doesn't stop when he's on
the buckle. Please help. Regards. Kelly.
There are 3 causes for this:
Take this Photo, these Horses are
put simply, Horses despair as to their fate for 'relief', the foundations of all understanding in Horse Training.....never comes.
In Your case, You are doing everything right but without me riding with You, I wouldn't know if the Horse is actually finding Your Hand, despite Your admirable attempts.
The 'reef' and the incessant 'Tug' become almost a vice, like pawing or weaving. It can only be stopped via a 'Head Check' placed at the appropriate length for the chosen style of riding at the time....i.e.. at the true pleasure rein length in your case, where the Horse simply runs into the Brick Wall and learns that it is not a good idea to attempt reefing.
It is the movement of the Hand of the Rider, where the Horse as it reefs, moves the Hand through the Air, forward but STILL WITH THE CONTACT that never goes, that keeps them doing it. In this case, to be technical, the Mouth never gets a relief, it only gets endlessly penalized but always shows promise. The Head Check however, will see a Horse have to 'Bounce off the Contact' as it hit's the wall and gets the opportunity to glimpse relief.
The only other fix is to enable Rein control whereby the Horse simply CANNOT find the Hand, meaning extended reins
at the trot and Canter, DO NOT accept resistance, re-mouth the Horse and ride it completely ROUND. (here is a Starter - first ride out of the arena)