Thursday, February 9, 2017

Vienna Reins II: The Outcome

Because I obsessively research everything, I learned that Vienna reins are recommended for horses that need to learn to move their neck and back. 


"Needs to learn to move neck and back" basically describes Courage. (And me. Anyone know if there are Vienna reins for humans? I need them.) He's got a stuck spot right in front of his withers and when there's tension, that's exactly where it comes out. 

Anyways. Courage has been going in the Vienna reins for over a month now and I'm starting to get back in the saddle. 

DRUM ROLL PLEASE
ears
God damn I do not even know this horse. 

Courage is a whole different ride. I mean, he's always been hot, sensitive, and reactive, and that hasn't changed. But now? He's fascinating. How do I explain... 
um hello
First off, Courage now moves parts of his body that I'm not convinced he knew he had before. Nothing highlights how little I move my back like his swinging under me. Dayum son. Well done. 

But there's more than that. He's always been a light touch and quick to invert and get rigid. Now I get on and he's immediately stiff, yes, but if I like... pick up the contact, which is now a strong, solid contact, not a namby-pampy "are we both using the same bridle here" mystery, and then put my leg ON like if I actually have leg muscles that work, I'm riding this bizarre "dressage horse". 
we're learning

Now it's not magic. If I grab contact but don't use my legs, he stays stiff. If I use contact and legs but don't stay strong in my core, he just dumps on the forehand. I have yet to use legs and not reins, because really, who does that? I have to ride, which I can only do in about 90 second increments right now, but when I do ride, I'm riding a horse I really don't know. He goes boldly forward in this fantastic balance and it's not at all precarious. (Unlike me, who's still wildly precarious at this stage).

Not gonna lie, he kinda makes me feel bad about myself. I need to be stronger and more flexible and more competent to really develop what I'm starting to feel, but at least it's there in pieces now. 
hey this is cool
I'd be lying if I said I wished I had video to include because 1) I hate video and 2) "potato" is a generous description of my riding ability at present, but I do actually hope I can con someone into videoing us soon because I know how different everything feels, so now I want to see if it looks different to me. 

Plus if we have to keep lunging much longer, there's going to be a full on mutiny by the crew. PARLEY BITCHES.

32 comments:

  1. So exciting to see the changes in Courage! Can't wait to eventually see video of the two of you together now that you're unlocking new talents 😀 also, pretty sure I have e the market cornered on potato 😂

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    1. Bitch please. I live in the potato state. MOVE OVER.

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  2. Yay! I'm so glad all the forced lunging work has paid off! I hope you can continue healing quickly so you can take advantage of his new skills more!

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    1. Ugh there is nothing quick about healing.

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  3. Yay! He looks fabulous. You may be in the potato state but you don't have the corner on that market.

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  4. HOORAY! Back on the horse again and he's looking so good

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  5. I've never used them but this makes me want to throw the baby OTTB in them!!

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    1. I really wonder how it would have changed C's progress if I started with these ages ago. Who knows.

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    2. It makes me want to throw my 19-year-old in them 😂

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  6. so excited to see and read this. you both look fantastic!! (SHUT UP on potato ohmygod sack of potaoes is my middle name) LOL Very cool. Now i am intrigued by this vienna rein saga. Hmm My guy is getting there but i often wonder if it would help to get said sack of potatoes off and let him do it on his own on the lunge. SO MANY CURIOUS THINGS TO TRY (after SB tries them first and survives of course HA) great job :) So happy you are riding again! YAY

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    1. Lunging is a funny thing. It does nothing for some horses and is earth shattering for others.

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  7. This is so amazing to read about! I LOVE results type posts because it's so interesting to see what some of these things actually do. I'm going to do a bit more lunging in Vienna reins with Katai because she's stuck in EXACTLY the same place!

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    1. The change in him is really fascinating. I've known he's been stuck there since I got him straight off the track and nothing could really change it. Occasionally, he got unstuck, but his first reflex is always tension there. This is potentially huge for us.

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  8. LOLing at the coat meme picture! Interesting point and a good reminder that as we ask more from our horses, we as riders are just as responsible for improving ourselves proportionally

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  9. Well, so maybe all of this terrible concussion business has a small silver lining! Maybe having some time off from riding has done Courage some mental good. Along with the vienna reins helping him redevelop his muscles and what not. So exciting!

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    1. I'm just lucky he hasn't gone sour. :-/ I'm about to, what with all these freaking circles.

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