Riding Truths Brought To You By Jeannette


Alternately titled, "Your Outside Rein Is Your Friend"

or - "How To Dressage Good"

This week I have been freaking out just a little bit about our horse trial this upcoming weekend, and the best cure for a freak out is to get out of my little solitary bubble and have a friend chime in on my riding.

I asked my barn buddy Jeannette - former Pony Clubber, instructor, foxhunter, show rider, and all around neat person - to be my eyes on the ground during our flat ride yesterday. While Dino and I haven't been doing anything particularly awful during our rides lately, it hasn't been our best work, so we needed a fresh perspective.

Y'all. Did you know that IF YOU TAKE A STRONG FEEL ON YOUR OUTSIDE REIN AND PUT YOUR INSIDE LEG ON AND SOFTEN YOUR INSIDE REIN, YOUR PONY WILL GO ON THE BIT?! Because apparently I had forgotten this and was relying on 20 minutes of doing weird things with my contact and five million transitions and some lateral work to get the same result that just USING MY GOSHDARN OUTSIDE REIN achieved in approximately .5 seconds.

I feel that the majority of my riding and training experience is the constant rediscovery of the basic truths of horsemanship. This sometimes makes me feel dumb.

But as Jeannette so helpfully pointed out, taking that strong contact with the outside rein and providing that structure for my pony ALLOWED him to come into self-carriage and hold himself up. No constant nagging or half-halting up on the inside rein necessary. Huh. Who knew. She also confirmed my recent discovery that the "elbows down" or "flex your triceps" maneuver is the correct thing to do when creating a good contact. Thank you, Jeannette, for re-introducing me to my outside rein.

In other news, horse trial on Sunday! (AHHHH!) Then pony gets a day off, then lesson with the new trainer on Tuesday! (AHHHH!) Then at some point I am going to go sit in tenthousand saddles!

Good stuff, y'all. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


  1. Haha! I actually took a line out today that I was going to link to a past post that said, "I think I'm going deeper than my usual 'Everything in Dressage is a matter of relearning that the inside leg to outside rein actually matters,' and say 'Everything in Dressage is a matter of relearning that the inside leg to outside rein actually matters because STRAIGHTNESS.' Too funny. Good luck at the HT!!!!!

  2. oooooh so many exciting things to look forward to! good luck this weekend!! and that whole outside rein thing still feels really elusive to me... guess i just need to keep workin on it?

  3. Outside rein, how easy it is to forget about thee. LOL

  4. I don't know why that won't ever stay in my head. Good luck at the show!


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