ReinRite Exercise Series – The Turn Table

It has certainly been a while, writing up blog posts the last while has been something I have neglected, but I am back! You may have noticed that I have been using my reinrite products a lot in terms of bringing Dante back into fitness since lockdown. Before lockdown we rode in our ReinRite Training Aid once a week, this kept Dante on his toes, it also encouraged him to self carry properly.

I try to pre plan my exercises before I jump in the saddle, this way we get the most out of our training. Pole work is of course our number one focus. I came up with the “Turntable” exercise out of frustration of getting up and down and adjusting trot poles to canter poles and so on.

Keep Scrolling for the layout, the set up & how Dante rode it. Don’t be worried either if you don’t have a ReinRite Training Aid, the exercise can be down without also for everyone who prefers not to ride with Training Aids at all, I dont judge!

The Set Up

You will need a number of poles for the set up of this exercise, 7 to be precise. I also used my Jumpstart Showjumps Pole raisers to raise the poles, but they can be laid flat or you can use jumping wings if you prefer either.

See the images below for the layout in your arena. Preferably, I would have the rest of the arena clear to give you extra space to warm up.

The distance between the poles are as follows:

A = 2 strides, walking from the center of your poles, so 10 large walking footsteps

B= They are bounce strides, so I walked out 10 toe to toe footsteps.

The Benefits of Using Reinrite

  • Better Control over the poles
  • Can focus on your riding position in more detail
  • Your horse works correctly, and is encouraged to hold themselves correctly
  • I always find that while riding in the ReinRite it encourages me to hold the contact, without it on I have an awful habit of dropping it.

The Benefits of this exercise for Your Horse

  • Improves your eye for a stride
  • Control in the rhythm
  • Improves both horse & riders approach to poles
  • Works your horses hind end
  • Focus on the riders position
  • Bending & flexing your horse around your leg

How To Ride This Exercise

Step 1: As with all of our exercises, we recommend a thorough warm up before starting. This will insure that your horse will not pick up any injuries.

Step 2: I began this exercise in sections. Your aim is to get everything done in canter, but doing it in trot was the first step I took. Start with the curved poles. Trot around and over them off both reins, you are looking for a consitant flow in your horses rhythm. No stumbling over poles or half strides before. Once you are happy with the you can start bringing in you two outside poles.

Step 3: Continuing on from your curved poles, incorporate the two poles on the outside of your exercise. Again you are looking for a nice consistant flow with an even rhythm. Follow the image below, you will now begin to see why I called this the Turn Table exercise. Your horse is being constantly challenged in the direction they are moving! You should be able to count your horses “trot” strides between poles each time you ride from pole to pole. This is a trick I use for knowing when Dante is keeping a consistent rhythm in his movement.

Step 4: Once you are comfortable with the above, it’s time to progress to the canter. Ride the exercise exactly the same as in step 2 & 3 outlined above but only moving from trot up into canter. Once you are happy with how your horse worked, I gave Dante a short walk break to stretch out. It is nice to give your horse rests, and breaks to process the entirety of the exercise

Step 5: We are now moving onto our poles down the middle of the arena. This is the third part of this exercise, the last piece we need before we stick it all together. Picking up canter, ride into your poles as if they are not there, crazy I know but try it and see how it works! It is your job to ride your horse into the poles, it is not your job to lift your horses legs over them! So if they hit or knock then, just start again. Once you are happy with how your horse is working, you can then piece the entire exercise together.

Step 6: To piece our exercise together, I have put the image below as to how it works. Beginning by canter over your poles in the center, Turning left over your single pole which bring your around to your pole on the opposite side of the arena, finishing up over your curved poles. It sound like a lot, but it flows well once you get into it. It is a tough exercise so if your horse finishes well once on either rein I would finish off on that good note.


That exercise was quite a difficult one to explain considering the amount of turns it has, so if I have confused you work from the images! It is a very beneficial exercise and can be used to focus in on all those small things we want to improve in our horses way of moving.

Don’t forget, if you don’t have a Reinrite you can still give this exercise a go, it can be done with or without. If you want to simplify it slightly you can adjust the poles in the centre to trot poles and complete the entire exercise in trot. I always like to have variety in my exercises,I can never be certain with Dante’s moods so I try to cater for them all!

Let me know if you gave this one a try on your horse and if you did be sure to tag me so I can see!

Happy Riding,

Darielle

Dante Update: The Changes I made to round my 8yr old horse

It’s been a long time since I done an update on Dante let alone any progress related posts. We have certainly come a very long way! Dante is now 8… 8 years old!!!! What the Fork!

The last year we have overcome an awful lot of obstacles, from behavioral issues to outbreaks in how we works together as a team, we have changed & tweaked a certain amount of things to get us where we are today.

There is a still a good bit to go, but I can safely say that I am extremely happy with our progress to date. Let me run through some of the things below, from jumping to small tack changes, sometimes you have to power through the storm to see some good results & sometimes small tweaks & adjustments are what you need to do!

Keep reading to read all about us, our journey, the changes, maybe you might pick up some ideas, or maybe you might be in the same boat!


Jumping – This has always been something I have struggled to find the happy medium with. Dante loves to jump, he has so much talent jumping also. I think for me I always had the fear of him taking off on me, therfore I struggled to think that I ever had control of any situation. The last year has changed tremendoulsy. We completed our First Meter Course before Xmas & looking back on the first half of the course, it was truly dreadful. I didn’t know then but Looking at it now I am super proud of that metre course we done, we ackomplished a massive achievement. Pushing yourself is something that you should definately do every once in a while, & it has paid off. I have more confidence now & I think we both trust each other a lot more. I certainly trust him a lot more to get me aroudn a course without me having to interfere as much as I thought I had too.

We have been focusing a lot on strengthening up Dante’s weaker rein. I am aware that Rome wasn’t built in a day so this will also take time, I am happy to see the small improvements as we focus on our training sessions at home. I am 100% jinxing myself but right now I am so happy with him, he jumps with a controlled contained energy behind him instead of exploding off into the distance with me, I am just a super proud HOM. (Horse Mom!) Long may the improvements continue.

Tack Changes – Fluffy nosebands, I honestly thought these were kind of stupid before, that people who used them simply just liked fluff. Who can blame them, they are so flufffffy!! Again, I can hold my hands up & say I was completely wrong on this also, yes I am a judge bitch! I noticed that when out jumping a course, Dante was looking everywhere instead of where he was supposed to, so someone suggested getting blinkers & putting a fluffy cover over his noseband to help him concentrate.

It bloody well worked a treat!! The fluff on his nose helped distract him and kind of had him looking down, so no head in the air, and the Blinkers made him look straight ahead of him where he should of been looking when he was working or when jumping. All these small changes have worked & helped us massively, and Yes my ignorance got the better of me, why didnt I listen a few years ago?

Singular fluff piece is from Holmestead Saddlery

Bits – Dante has always been ridden in a snaffle, he still is from time to time. I noticed that I majorly lacked any control at times or struggled to get him back to me when jumping bigger fences or courses. So with a lot of useless googling done by me, I gave up & went and asked my trainers. One suggested to use a A Copper Cherry Roller snaffle, and the other a Rope GAG bit. (Yass, I have two trainers, They are amazing, #Jer #Sue) I learned that interestingly enough both bits actually seemed to work quite well for him.

I use the Gag mainly when out jumping courses or when doing jumping lessons at home & when I am lunging or doing flat work sessions I use the copper cherry roller snaffle. I have two bridles, so the only torture I have is changing the reins over. These 2 new bits used in coordination with each other have also been a factor in softening Dante in the mouth, in turn it has softened my contact a lot, it’s been a win win situation all round.

Cheltenham Gag, rope cheek pieces from Equijump Ltd.
Copper Cherry Roller Bit.

Flatwork Improvements – We can actually leg yield 4-5 steps now without having a tantrum! I never thought I would ever say that! He reacts to my leg aids extremely well now & His arse is actually starting to move in sync with his entire body, it doesn’t have a mind of its own anymore, I am THRILLLLLED!!!! Honestly though, the difference in the way he holds himself is tremendous. Hard work certainly pays off, I will say I have been wearing spurs on him for the extra back up I need to keep him moving forward. I do alternate between days of riding him with & without them.

Lunging – Yes people I use training aids. And to all you people out there that don’t agree with them or troll people that do use them, there are more important things in life that trying to voice or force your opinion about something that is not relevant to you. #BeKind.

I have found the magic ingredient to getting him lunging nicely, relaxed & more importantly something that helps & encourages him to stretch his giraffe neck down. Something he is so bad at may I add. The Reinrite lunge. I try to lunge him once a week and try focus more on transitions & maintaining steady rhythms through out our work. It all seems to be translating into our riding, something that you cant help but be happy with.

The ReinRite Lunge, their newest product! Full review coming soooooon!!

The Riders Journey – Well considering I haven’t left the yard since before Xmas, cabin fever is beginning to set in big time, not having a box was a big factor to this, but…… I am also thrilled to say that I have recently just purchased a new horse box! I am over the moon & still quite shocked that I have one. I have a list as long as my arm of places I need to get back to, the Curragh Water Treadmill being one, This place is just a godsend for horses. If you haven’t been I advise you get your horse there now, Hettie & co, I will over in a few weeks!! Some Big plans need to be set in motion for Summer 2020 ASAP!!

I am also dying to get over to Carlanstown for some XC, Amy Smyth I am not forgetting those insta plans to meet up over there soon!!

I do shamefully need to start looking after myself a bit better, I am not getting any younger & my back certainly is beginning to take the blunt of some of the things I do. It is quite hard to find time to go to the gym between work, the horse & being a mom time is of an essence so maybe I will just have to start doing some home exercises again, my core needs a lot of work!! Anyone any suggestions??

What The Future Holds – Some plans are being put into motion, we are hopefully going to make The RC spring league, along with the festival & SJ Championships in the summer. I also definitely want to move up a class in RC & do some more SJI show. And yes you heard it here first, this year I am going to try do some dressage tests…. he has good movement & potential I just need to get myself some more patience!

Ohh & lastly, I want to go on a horsey trip with Dante, I’m thinking maybe some of you could come too? Il start by Throwing the idea out there….


Some hardcore Dante reminiscing right there, it’s good to sit down & write or even think about your accomplishments to date with your horse. It certainly helps to put some things into perspective.

Patting yourself on the back from time to time & telling yourself you’ve done a good job is also needed.

For now, it’s back to some proper work with Dante, this shitty weather in Ireland has me pushing the pause button every 2nd day. I am counting down the days until Summer!!

Talk soon,

Darielle

Product Review – ReinRite

To say I was excited to trial & test out this product was an understatement. Dante is a horse that needs a little extra help to “hold” together, and I the rider am not ashamed to say that I need a bit of back up when it comes to training and excelling Dante to the best of his abilities. Sometimes being a small woman has its difficulties, but my determination seems to over ride all of this when I manage to put my mind to it!

I would like to introduce you to the “ReinRite” Created & made by the Cork Native Timothy O’Keefe. He is the genius behind this fantastic product & from the reviews I have been hearing, I hope he is enjoying the amazing success he is having from this product.

So lets get into some detail, a lot of you were extremely curious about what the ReinRite was, what its benefits were & most importantly where you can buy one! Count yourself lucky, keep scrolling below, I am about to go into a lot of detail explaining the wonders of the famous Reinrite and everything you as an equestrian need to know about it…

What is ReinRite? 

ReinRite is the perfect solution to encourage horses/ponies to adapt a correct outline and to engage their hind quarters. It helps to promote correct muscle development when being worn. It relaxes the horse when being ridden and promotes correct muscle build with less injury.

It is designed to encourage your horse to lower their head whilst working developing correct topline muscles. There is no restriction of movement when you are riding your horse, allowing free flexion for you horse when turning left or right and most importantly it can be used in all paces. It can also be used for jumping, once used correctly.

There are two types of Reinrite’s, one for Race horses & one for sport Horses. Whilst the benefits are the same, the attachment under girth are different for each Reinrite.

How To Apply It To your Horse?

Step 1: Clip the two smaller clips onto your horses bit, one on each ring.

Step 2: Before attaching the individual clip to your girth strap between your horses legs, you can easily adjust the sizing on the ReinRite to suit your horse by simply moving the buckle up or down a hole.

Step 3: Clip to the girth strap & away you go! (with the racehorse reinrite, their is a loop that you slip your girth through)

The roller near the attachment at the bit, this maneuvers side to side, allowing your horse the freedom to bend & flex his head freely. Remember your horse will take a few days to adjust to the outline from wearing the Reinrite. The bungee attached to the girth is elasticated so it gives your horse a lot of stretch. This is also a great aspect to the Reinrite when it comes to jumping your horse.

The Benefits For Horse & Rider

How It helped me, The Rider: The Reinrite has helped me massively. Whilst riding with the Reinrite I was forced to ride Dante into an even contact, this is something I am dreadful at. I really had to work to get him to move from my leg up into my hand. Having this aid on Dante certainly did not mean that I got to sit on him while the training aid done all the work, it basically assisted me in the how I should of been riding Dante all along!

How it benefited Dante: There are many ways in which this product benefited Dante when being ridden. I found it extremely beneficial doing pole work. Dante tends to run or lift his head when he sets his eyes on trot poles/raised poles, but with the reinrite it was encouraging him to carry himself in a lower carriage, working over his back, and in turn showed some super results over poles. I always say, when you see your horse riding with floppy ears that’s when you know they are enjoying their work. In all 3 gaits, I got that flop! As I persistently rode in the Reinrite he became more willing to lower his head carriage each time, with any other training aid I have used in the past there was always a way out for him, or at least he used his strength to get out of doing any work. The Reinrite was a game changer, it completely relaxed Dante, which is not an easy thing to do! Personally, I think this is down to the freedom he has whilst being ridden in this product he still has all the freedom to find and move around whilst carrying himself correctly.

What do I really think? 

There were a number of ways in which this product helped Dante. Before I used to used training aids to correct behavioural problems, for instance if Dante used to continuously shoot off on me or not listen to my leg aids, a set of draw reins were quickly put on him to let him know that that behaviour should not be tolerated.

One of the best benefits to this training aid for me was the muscle memory. Is this a thing for horses as well as humans? I found that whilst riding in this product I would be working on riding Dante forward into the bit or holding him in the canter, once I done these exercises reinrite on I could see massive improvements in the way he was moving almost as if this aid was still on.

Jumping in a reinrite, OMG. Well I will be honest and say at first I was petrified, what if he trips, what if he freaks out & forgets to lift his legs? Only yesterday I bit the bullet & jumped a course of 4 fences, (a cross pole, 2 Verticals & an oxer!) He jumped everything PERFECT!! He was chilled, calm and most importantly he was not rushing. He took every fence in his stride, I was delighted. He is a scopey horse who needs no help when it comes to jumping, But at times he can be one to get sloppy after a fence, so my reinrite will be used in this sense to get his muscles used to relaxing over fences. It will only help build the correct jumping muscle groups!

So my advice to you all, save up your money & get your hands on one of these bad boys! They are certainly well worth the money even though they are a little on the pricier side.

ReinRite for Young HorsesOrla & Cosmo

I used the ReinRite on Cosmo during one of our lunging sessions. I realised I needed to start asking more of Cosmo during these sessions rather than just using them as ways of getting rid of excess energy so with Cosmo never having had any type of gadgets or anything on him before, I thought the ReinRite would be a good place to start. With the ReinRite you can adjust the length so for our first time using it, I was able to keep it long enough to allow him to lift and move his head while the little bit of tension meant he was also encouraged to stretch down and use himself more efficiently. I found it to be a nice soft way of introducing these type of training aids, rather than just putting him straight into anything that was overly restrictive.

The Cost & Where you can purchase?

The cost to purchase a Reinrite is slightly on the higher side of the equestrian market. They are €159.00 to purchase.

They are available to buy from – http://www.reinrite.com/shop/

 FAQ’s by you our followers

What are the benefits of using it?    

There are a number of benefits for your horse, including, It Relaxes your horse whilst being ridden, It Holds your horse in a correct frame, It Builds your horses topline muscles, It encourages your horse to lower their head carriage whilst being ridden & most importantly it Gives you a happy horse & a horse that is willing to work with you rather than against you!

Do you find any other aid to get the same reaction?

Any of the other training aids I have used, such as draw reins have worked, but have taken a longer amount of time to work properly. Dante used to always find a way out of working with draw reins on, but with the reinrite it encourages your horse to relax in their work as well as correcting the way they carry themselves.

Is it worth the price?    

I know it is on the pricier side. But my honest answer is yes. I had been saving up to buy one until I got in contact with Timmy from Reinrite about a review.

Is it not cruel, restricting his movement?    

It is not cruel at all. But like anything everyone has an opinion on horse training aids. Some people believe in them, whilst other find them to be unnatural or as you mentioned, cruel. Sometimes being a smaller woman with less of a presence on a big horse, you need all the help you can take when it comes to training & training correctly. The Reinrite doesn’t restrict his movement at all, the roller between both bit clips allows full neck movement when being ridden.

Who recommended it/gifted it to you?   

I am a big believer of training aids, especially for big horses that need the extra help. I had been following Reinrite, watching professional / International riders using them and reached out to Timothy to work on a collaboration!

It is worth the money to buy for a young horse that can get stressed in the canter? 

Personally I dont think training aids should be used to get rid of a nervous horse issue. A stressed out young horse in a certain gait will just need that bit more work to establish an even balanced canter. Spend a bit more time bonding with your horse on the ground, so that they can relax & work with you when been ridden. Orla has used this aid on her 4yr old horse, but she has used it on the lunge. I would recommend using the Reinrite on your young horse in the lunge pen first for a few sessions so he/she can learn to relax in the canter with a correct way of carriage before you begin to ride your horse in it.


And there you have it, everything you need to know about the Reinrite. I have really enjoying reviewing this product & continue to use it weekly with Dante to help encourage his way of moving, so far I am seeing amazing results.

A massive thank you to Timmy in Reinrite, it was a pleasure to speak to you & get to know about the massive amounts of work you put into this product (Did I mention that he makes them by hand himself?)

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in contact, or to drop me a PM, Be sure to follow Reinrite over on their Instagram page, this is a product that has gone worldwide & it is so fascinating to follow & learn what different equestrians use & ride with the Reinrite.

Until Next time & as always a Massive thank you for reading,

Darielle