Sunday, January 1, 2012
DVD Review: ****Rohlf, Karen ~#1~ Riding in Connection w the Reins
Riding in Connection w the Reins ****
When riding a horse there are more ways that we can get it 'wrong' than there are ways to get it 'just right'. By sticking to the basics, we will set ourselves up for success. In this dvd Karen demonstrates how to develop a positive connection with the reins in a natural way. She rides a greenish horse in a rope halter and rope reins. She starts off with a list of pre-requisites, such as the horse already being able to move forward in a free, relaxed, balanced and supple way, and that the horse should already know how to follow a feel rather than brace against it. And that the rider should already have independent seat and hands and not need to use the reins for their own balance. She reminds us to keep a clear picture of what we desire in our minds, and then decrease the reasons for heaviness and increase the quality of our basics.
She starts the 'lesson' by checking in 'freestyle' (not using the reins)to see if she has control of the horse without using the reins, to stop, go and turn, and the changes between gait. Also to check for the other basics of calm and listening to the leg during turns on the hind and forehand. Once she had the saddle and halter/reins on, I really like how she goes thru the process of checking each ingredient before moving on to concentrated riding. She has a great system for isolating each ingredient she is looking for, before trying to put it all together.
I like her description of 'taking a soft touch' on the reins, in that when you first make that contact how you are not doing so to ask anything of them, and thus they should have no reaction to it. I also REALLY like her theory of the 'alignment' exercise. In that she does not ASK for the roundness with the reins, she NOTICES it with the reins. She uses a way of aligning the horse laterally until he FINDS longitudinal roundness. It is a great natural process of not forcing it, rather setting things up and then allowing it to happen.
There is great debate about being able to properly achieve the sacred principles of dressage bitless, and here we have a great example, that YES we can. While this dvd is not proof of carrying this on to the highest levels, is is proof that it CAN be done.
So, I highly recommend this dvd for those wanting to ride properly....while keeping it natural and bridging the gap between natural horsemanship and dressage.
For More info about Karen click here