Rein Contact Analysis Session - Synchronicity
Using a patented technology called Synchronicity, I will be providing a very new service called Rein Contact Analysis.
This innovative system assesses Rhythm, Consistency, Contact and Balance in each rein during a ridden test.
This information can be shared with your coach to correct contact issues but will also be used in my Bit Fitting Sessions to aid in bit selection.
Contact me to book your session today!!!
The pattern of the horse’s stride is reflected in the patterns of rein tension. If a regular rhythm is established, contact patterns will be consistent. The system is also able to consider whether the tempo lies within a reasonable range for the gait. Where the horse hurries, drops behind the leg or loses balance, the rhythm score will drop.
Loss of rider position, a fixed, restrictive hand or excessive adjustments will also disrupt the rhythm in the reins.
Our goal is an attentive horse which responds to subtle aids and can sustain a consistent way of going in self-carriage without over reliance on the rider. Where this is achieved, and the rider moves as one with the horse, variations in the contact weight will lie within a narrow range, giving a good consistency score. Where communication requires stronger intervention, this score will drop.
There is a range of acceptable levels of rein contact. However, it is possible to have too strong a contact on the horse’s mouth, or at the other end of the scale an absence of any meaningful connection. Excessive use of the hand to force an outline or exercise is an unsustainable method of training, and will lower your score for contact strength. In extreme cases, very high rein tension will result in a zero score. A horse which leans on the hand or sets against the rein will also lower the contact score.
At the other end of the scale, it is also problematic for there to be a complete lack of rein contact, whether this is a result of the horse going behind the bit and refusing to take the contact forward or the rider not providing the horse with a clear line of communication.
When aiming for suppleness and straightness in our horses, we are seeking to minimize one-sidedness and reach a situation where both horse and rider are symmetrical and able to maintain a balanced, correct picture through a variety of exercises in both directions. One measure of this is the left-right balance in our rein contact. If we ride a symmetrical pattern, such as a complete figure of eight, in an ideal world we would have the same average contact weight in our left and right reins.
The balance in our contact is a separate score with Synchronicity: if you are riding an asymmetric pattern, you would not expect your contact to be identical in each hand (though if you ride two patterns which are a mirror image of each other, your contact should also be a mirror image!) but this figure is a useful check. Are you always heavier in one hand regardless of the exercise? Very few of us are naturally ambidextrous! We cannot expect our horses to be straight if we are not straight ourselves.