We had a fun session last night with one of my students. Although, when I first told her the day before she would not believe me, guess what…
I HAD HER JUMPING WITHOUT REINS!!!
Except for the fun part of this exercise, there are multiple things a rider can learn by being deprived of his or her reins.
- The rider keeps the weight in the stirrups.
- He or she relies on their legs to keep in balance as their hands are in the air.
- It helps the rider improve their position over the fence.
- The horse is not pulled in the mouth and hence it is allowed to jump freer.
- The rider can feel the difference in the jump of the horse, hence understanding how important it is to not pull on its mouth in the air.
- The rider learns to trust that his or her horse has the will to jump as long as the rider does not disturb them.
- It is great fun for the showjumper and an exercise out of the usual routine of flat working, pole working, and jumping.
If you have a rider that relies too much on the reins for balance and needs to understand that the key to being effective on a horse’s back is having one’s weight in the stirrups, TRY THIS EXERCISE! It is not dangerous and it is great fun for all parties involved.
The next thing she is doing is the fit ball exercise! (She doesn’t know yet!!)
Let us know what you think! 😉