And then there is our PIVO Silver. I can use this device to record your lesson for your review afterwards.
More exciting is our Rein Coach (RC) devices. Both the RC units have small sensor packages that clip onto the bit of the horse, and then the reins connect to the other side of the sensor packages. The system is calibrated, in Kg to measure the amount of “pull” that is going on between the horse’s mouth and the rider’s hands. They are very sensitive units. We use them to illustrate to the rider on how “bouncy” their hands may be. We use them to illustrate to the rider on how to maintain a light, steady contact. As an instructor, I use the devices to give clear information to the rider to improve the use of the hand aids in compliment to their leg aids.
The Rein Coach has a LED light bar, that is connected to the crown of the horse’s bridle. There are lights on the bar that are triggered by the amount and “heaviness” of the rein tension. We aim to have a steady, even light contact by keeping the two first green lights on continuously. The more lights that come on, the heavier the contact.
Obviously, this is a great training tool for the dressage rider, but my hunt seat riders benefit from the units as well. For example, when we work over fences, and I’m asking for a full release of the reins, we look to see that the Rein Coach’s lights stay off, or the lines on the graphs of the Rein Tension Device, go to zero.
When teaching dressage, and if I need a rider to tweak their hand aids, I can advise them to perhaps, increase the tension in a rein until the next LED light comes on. My clients have marveled on how much this exact science, and instant visual feedback helps them. Of course, learning how to hold a steady contact is a true must for improving the communications with a horse.
The RC has been a wonderful asset to my teaching program here at Gale’s. I am available to work with riders here at Gale’s (haul ins for lessons are welcomed), to analyze and improve the communications that you have with your horse. I can, sometimes, be available to travel to other stables for clinics and lessons with my equipment. Please contact me for additional information about that.