Art of Long Reining.....
By Katarina Antens-Miller
early December, Bo Jenå a world renowned expert on training
horses from the ground using long reining techniques as well as
training and showing sport horses "in-hand" for inspections
and breed shows held a clinic at Los Alamos Dressage Center in Freehold,
reining is a very important training component of the classical
dressage discipline. It is an excellent tool to improve collection
and suppleness as well as to teach horses to really accept the outside
rein without interference from the weight of a rider", said
Dr. Gail Hoff-Carmona, owner and director of Los Alamos Dressage
weather on this December day was bone-chilling cold, which did not
seem to bother Jenå, a native of Sweden and director of the
dressage program at Flyinge, the National Stud of Sweden, at all.
Jenå seemed right at home in the cold and most of the audience
opted to wrap themselves in horse blankets in order to remain in
the arena with him instead of staying in the heated observation
room. They watched intently as this true master of horsemanship
demonstrated the use of long reins with everything from green horses
to those working in high collection.
discussed various ways that long reining can be done and the type
of equipment he preferred to use. He adjusted the height to the
reins to the individual needs of the horse, explaining that horses
which tend to carry their heads too high may need the reins attached
lower on the surcingle while those that tend to carry their necks
too low may need a higher placement. As he moved from one side to
the other of the horse, he changed the attachment of the reins so
that the inside rein was usually first attached to the surcingle,
run through the ring of the snaffle bit and then to his hands. This
allowed the inside rein to help create inside flexion while he maintained
a very soft contact. The outside rein was normally attached to the
outside ring of the snaffle, run through a ring in the surcingle
and then over the horse's back to his hands. In addition to this
method, Bo demonstrated other ways of using the reins and even the
use of a flash nose band attached to a ring on the surcingle in
order to change the angle and the effect of the inside rein.
would start by warming up the horses on a circle, developing all
the gaits and obtaining the acceptance of the outside rein. Once
the horse had accepted the outside rein he would focus on the inside
flexion and then move on to transitions and lateral movements. He
always positioned himself on the inside of the horse and had the
outside rein over the back of the horse as opposed to running it
behind the hind legs. He stressed the importance of consistency
and repetition but avoidance of fighting and overdoing.
you ever attended the stallion show at Flyinge, the National Stud
of Sweden, you might have seen Bo riding one horse while driving
another or showing all the movements of Grand Prix dressage with
horses in long reins or even running with horses that seemed to
defy gravity while trotting in-hand. Well, defying gravity was well
demonstrated when Bo worked with the 13 year old Swedish Warmblood
stallion, LA Baltic Sunrise. Sunrise had not been long reined in
several years but nevertheless danced willingly next to Bo showing
off his piaffe and passage program with ease after a few minutes
of warm-up. The audience was impressed.
next day Bo conducted a dressage clinic and for those horses that
had been long reined the previous day, they proved to be exceptionally
nice and supple according to their riders.
on these two very good days, Los Alamos Dressage Center wanted Bo
back and is pleased to announce that it will sponsor a series of
Dressage/Long Reining Clinics with Bo on March 14-16, April 25-27
and June 14-15.
Alamos Dressage Center is also pleased to announce that on April
26, 2003, at its annual Open House and benefit for New Bolton Center,
Bo Jenå will be one of the participants in a program called
"Dressage With the Masters". Bo will demonstrate long
reining techniques and Alex Chterba, another master of dressage
and former head trainer of the Olympic Training Center in Moscow,
will demonstrate work in-hand for high collection.
more information contact: Gail Hoff-Carmona, www.losalamosdressage.com,
email@example.com, Tel. 732