Driving Reins = Genius

BIG THANK YOU to Shelby R. Allen for the tip with the automatic release! Recently she recommended trying a driving rein while jumping, which I swear I haven’t done in ages, and I’m pretty sure it was just on the flat to practice having contact back then. Anyways, I will circle back to this trick because it is GENIUS.

My instructor was at a family reunion this week, so our assistant instructor/ Gracie’s real mom was teaching our class. It was approximately 98 degrees outside + indoor + 1000 pound hot fuzzy animal = 110 degrees in the ring. Damn I love math.

We warmed up, quickly but properly, and with lots of walk breaks so nobody died. We warmed up over a crossrail both towards home and away, and then the grid fun started.

Typically we build on grid on the non-door side so that the horses aren’t distracted by the door. However, 2 things: 1) they need to GTF over it, and 2) many of the riders at our barn seem to have issues with their right legs these days, including yours truly.

Therefore, our assistant instructor got clever and set up the grid on the door side so that 1) the horses could GTF over it, and 2) she could check out our right legs. Thank God she did! Because I learned 2 things.

  1. I’m terrible at remembering to do an automatic release. Years of hunter princessing around the ring has the crest release stuck in my noggin, and since it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s tough to break the mold. However, when I do a driving rein while jumping, it’s basically impossible for me to forget to do an automatic release, so I will now be jumping with an auto release and driving rein! #hatersgonnahate
  2. We figured out that I have far less right leg issues when I do an automatic release  It’s a win, win, win. My leg doesn’t fly forward after fences/in corners, my back stays flat over the fence, my heels are down down down before, during, and after the fence, and the world is a beautiful place because my horse can do her job without me interfering.

Since I’m clearly on a kick with 2’s today, here are the videos of my last 2 rounds going through the gymnastics. The first one I didn’t have the best take off spot (stupid trot fences), so it wasn’t bad, but wasn’t perfect. The second one was FRIGGIN PERFECT (enough). Heels down, leg on and under, knee angle kept the same, and Gracie rewarded my good behavior by getting nice and tight and kicking some butt #likeagoodmareGracieisthere


And here’s a fun action shot that I’m not completely mortified of:


Oh one more fun fact: I really can’t eat salty foods before I ride in 90+ degree weather. I swear I can literally feel the blood pumping in my boots! This is what my boots did to my legs post-ride:

No more pickles before lessons 😦

Anyways, thank you again Shelby!! Can’t wait to try jumping around with a driving rein full time.

And no thank you, previously full pickle jar….



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