Helen House Horse DVD;
Mechanics of Single-Rein Riding
Lesson 13 is one of two DVDs where Alexandra does not use horses in the DVD. What ! A horse training DVD with no horses in it ! One of the things that is wonderful about Alexandra is that she can teach you about horse training without using a horse.
In this DVD Alexandra uses a life size model horse (Helen House Horse) to work on rope rein mechanics. She teaches us about single rein riding (riding on a triangle), how to ride without tension and through this lesson, she shows quite powerfully just how much both detail and mechanics matter.
When she used this idea of working without a real horse with one of her clients she found that by taking time to go through dress rehearsals without the horse that when he clients when back to the horses their riding skills had improved. So she tried this with more of her clients and found the same phenomenon.
As you work through the DVD Alexandra takes you through the rope rein handling mechanics, how to pick up the reins, break old habits, work on one rein (using the tai chi triangle; see the DVD on tai Chi Rope Handling).
If you have not watched the DVD on Tai Chi Rope Handling you may want to go back and see this DVD as it leads so wonderfully in to the rein mechanics for riding. The first section of the DVD shows how the ground work lead rope mechanics lead in to riding with the same rope mechanics. No matter how many times I watch the DVDs I still manage to find more detail that pops out to me.
Quite quickly the work goes to the very fun Helen House Horse. You can easily see how all that we have learned on the ground with rope mechanics translates so wonderfully to being in the saddle. What a fabulous start for riding Alexandra gave us with those early DVDs.
Interestingly, although this technique is called single rein riding, it is neither single hand riding or riding with contact in only one rein. It is the tai chi triangle (with bone rotations) taken to the saddle. It’s such a fabulous way to break old reaction habits that cause us to do things like; apply backward traction. Both hands get in to motion and work together to learn to bring our horses bodies alive and balance our horses on a point of contact.
The power of bone rotations is shown very dramatically in this first segment of the DVD….strength without force. Using bone rotations we no longer need e.g. to fight with a pulling horse, instead we can remain balanced in the saddle and bring our horses back to us without being forceful.
From these basic building blocks, Alexandra then, on Helen house Horse, takes us through simple requests through single rein riding to the more complex movements we might ask for from our horses.
In addition, she talks through micro-riding and how to incorporate this in to the single rein riding mechanics. This really is riding through your whole body by learning how to connect to your core and to float yourself on a point of contact, as well as the horse.
Through single rein riding you learn what a stabilised hand feels like and as such you are learning how to ride without backward traction. You also learn that detail matters. One of Alexandra’s clients shows how even the positioning of one little finger can totally alter your position in the saddle. Who knew triangles and pinkies were so important ! This lesson shows just how powerful our riding can be when we understand this work.
With the emphasis on releases at a micro level, if you have not watched the Micro-Riding DVD you may wish to watch this to learn about how to release through micro-movements.
You will also be pleased to hear that Alexandra does not leave you with single rein riding, she also shows you how to seamlessly transfer to riding on 2 reins but maintaining the single rein riding skills and connection. Now you get to perfect releasing the reins through the releases in your body.
Alexandra’s attention to detail through this work makes these DVDs keepers for life, dust off on occasion and watch again to see what new details pop out.