Saturday, February 21, 2009

Endless videos of Riley: The side reins series

Today we introduced side reins "for real." Sure, I'd been working him in hand at the walk and trot with loose side reins, and Sunday I lunged him on a small circle at the walk for about a full minute. But today I worked with my trainer and he actually did what you might call work. It was all good; despite having been left in for the day due to high winds, he was very agreeable. In the picture to the left he is actually stepping UNDER his body. Squint your eyes real hard and he almost looks dressagey. Most of the time he looks like he wants to be a hunter. But he's only three! His attitude for the most part is very agreeable and I love his soft eye.

Ummm. Well. Except--
He tends to be pokey in the canter, and at times he almost four beats. You have to keep after him, and occasionally he feels put upon. At the end of the first video, he has a little tantrum. No big deal, but as a viewer of endless Riley footage, you might appreciate a break from the monotony. Each video is about a minute.

Riley lunges with side reins: Counter-clockwise

Hang onto your hats, here comes the clockwise direction!


  1. I am enjoying these endless videos of Riley. We all get vicarious enjoyment out of folowing his progress. I couldn't help but say "Yee-haw!" at his little buckeroo. Ah, deja-vu all over again. He's just figuring it all out. He looks great.

  2. H-m-m-m...that looks a little familiar. Trouble is, it was yesterday with my 9 yo Thoroughbred on the end of the lunge line. "Boingy, boing!" Some of them just never grow up.

    Riley looks like a sweetie.

  3. Look how he seeks out the contact. Beautiful. Don't worry about the canter and antics. It will come in time. By big mare IRS will be 6 yrs old in April and she is just now behaving on the line and picking up the canter very nicely.

    Good Job!

  4. Stacey,

    the side-reins are to long, so the horse will not be able to find contact. They are also inappropriate. For that type of work you need to use "Vienna-Reins", also called "Laufer-Reins" (don't know the exact english calssifiaction at the moment) In either case the sidereins nedd to be adjusted in such a way, that the horses Nose will be exactly verticall (not behind and not in front) Try it and you will see the difference !!!

    Regards from Germany :-)


  5. Hi Patricia, I'm interested in finding out the type of equipment you are recommending. I'm going to guess that you didn't read the fine print -- this is a horse not yet 3 years old and his first time in side reins. I think most folks over here would feel that shortened side reins, esp. to the length you are recommending, are inappropriate!

    Now I must go google the reins you mention. Thanks!


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