Thursday, March 1, 2012

The rein back

The rein back, same as with any maneuver or exercise, is very beneficial to riders in disciplines other than dressage though it is a required dressage maneuver. As always however, it is not about the actual maneuver or exercise in itself but rather about the way(s) that exercise can benefit the horse's training in general. The rein back is a helpful exercise that helps to engage the horse's hindquarters and can help further develop responsiveness to the aids and thus control.

Anna says it best!

The cues:
1 - imperceptibly lighten your seat so as to encourage the horse to move backward by freeing his back
2 - close your hands to inhibit forward movement
3 - gently apply leg slightly behind the girth

The hands guide the horse's 'forward' movement in a backward manner solely by closing and the rider's legs generate the actual 'forward' momentum and the steps. You can close your hand around each rein with the stepping of the corresponding hind foot. Your legs however should remain steady and consistent in their pressure.

Having a helper on the ground might definitely aid in teaching the rein back however this is not possible for all riders. Be very patient with your horse and quiet in your aids when teaching this maneuver so as not to create tension and resistance in your horse.

1 comment:

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