Dressage for the Non-Horsey Boyfriend Part 5: The Reinback

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The discussions on how to make dressage more attractive to spectators is a never ending story. Right now, FEI is working on ideas in the so called FEI Sports Forum held in Lausanne, Switzerland. http://www.fei.org/news/fei-sports-forum-2015-dressage-and-eventing-sessions-discuss-proposed-format-changes

It seems that shorter Grand Prixs are the way to go. One of the suggested ideas to shorten such a test is to get rid of the reinback, The reinback has been present in tests for more than 30 years, was skipped from the Grand Prix for several years but just recently came back. http://dressagetoday.com/article/janet-foys-tests-techniques-26533

The rein back is defined by the FEI Dressage Rule book as follows:

ARTICLE 406 REINBACK 1. Reinback is a rearward diagonal movement with a two (2)-beat rhythm but without a moment of suspension. Each diagonal pair of legs is raised and returned to the ground alternatively, with the forelegs aligned on the same track as the hindlegs. 2. During the entire exercise, the Horse should remain “on the bit”, maintaining its desire to move forward. 3. Anticipation or precipitation of the movement, resistance to or evasion of the contact, deviation of the hindquarters from the straight line, spreading or inactive hind legs and dragging forefeet are serious faults. 4. The steps are counted as each foreleg moves back. After completing the required number of steps backward, the Horse should show a square halt or move forward in the required pace immediately. In tests where a Reinback of one (1) Horse’s length is required, it should be executed with three (3) or four (4) steps

This movement is a perfect indicator of the horse's suppleness. That is why we often times messed this movement up. And this is also one of the main points when people criticize the idea of omitting this movement from a Grand Prix test.

This year we will not only need to ride a proper rein back but also canter depart from this already difficult movement. From all the tests of this year, we can say that we obviously improved our suppleness as we get 7s for the rein back already. Last year, often times we had no diagonal movement which lowered the marks significantly. 

A good reinback starts with a good halt. That is what you often see during tests that the halt is not a real halt but the horse starts to move backwards immediately (jap, been there seen that) or that there is resistance in the neck and/or the horse above the bit (jap, been there seen that too). Last but not least, riding the reinback straight could be pretty difficult too.

Patricia from The Dressage Tipster has some more problems and solutions for mastering the reinback: 

http://dressagetoday.com/article/janet-foys-tests-techniques-26533

And if this is not enough, find here more tips from Janet Foy: 


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