Watch the trailer below…
This class is available via Vimeo On Demand by clicking here:
BETTER REINSMANSHIP THROUGH MUSCLE MEMORY
Reinsmanship is the art of how the driver handles their reins, whip and voice for effective communication to the horse. It goes without saying that the reins are the most critical of all communication aids available to a driver. So developing the best tools and techniques for handling the reins is the best way to improve communication with your driving horse.
Muscle memory is the ability to engage in motor skills unimpeded by cognitive thought. When an individual has developed muscle memory for a given skill or coordination, the actions happen automatically, even as their attention is on something else.
What if driving a horse was automatic for you? What if you were not burdened by trying to figure out how to get your horse to listen to you because your body automatically took over and communicated what you want the horse to know? Sounds a little too good to be true, by that is what I feel when I take your horse for a drive. In fact, it takes more thought and effort to illustrate an example of driving incorrectly, than it does to drive correctly.
There’s one way to develop muscle memory. Repeat the motions that you are trying to program into your body. The trouble is, when you’re out with your horse, the conditions that you and your horse encounter are in constant flux. No two moments can be the same when you consider all the variables that are play at any moment in a drive. First, there is the driver, who is trying to use the reins the same way twice in a row. Of course, each time the driver manipulates the reins, the horse is supposed to have the same reaction (and sometimes they do!) Then there is the carriage, in constant motion, changing constantly with the ground it is being pulled over. While handling all of this the driver must navigate the horse through a world full of distractions and stimulations that constantly beg for the horse and driver’s attention. When you consider all of that, you’re doing a damn fine job handling it all!
Now, imagine if you could isolate just a few coordinations without having to worry about any of those other issues. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just develop some key coordinated movements on the reins in a peaceful setting without trying to survive at the same time? In fact, there is such a magical way to develop muscle memory for great reinsmanship. You actually own the most critical element of the tool. A set of reins is all you need to begin building muscle memory for great driving.
This class will focus on building the muscle memory for the three main rein handling positions for carriage driving; the riding position; Hungarian position; and the Coachman’s Position. These fundamental positions are what Benno von Achenbach based his teaching upon a hundred years ago and are still used today by drivers all around the world.