Thanks for that response but I still don't have my answer. I ride off my seat too. In fact my favorite style of riding is bareback and bridleless. A slight tuck of the seat is all my horse needs to transition down to a lower gait or halt. Turning my upper body into the direction of the turn will turn him. My outer leg is not involved except for lateral work, leg yield and turn on the haunches or forehand which is always pulsed when the horse's foot you want to influence is leaving the ground.
What I am saying is the actual body position and aids of the body are radically different between this trainer and what I was taught. Looking at some reining videos I see that reiners keep their feet much farther forward than dressage riders do. The saddles are built to put them into this position which in dressage is the frowned upon "chair seat". But the point is more stability during the sliding stop.
Not all reiners ride this way but most of them throw their upper body back and their legs forward in a halt. In dressage the stability of the body comes from the core and you just don't see this exaggerated movement. That different but it is not my question either.
Do you use your outside leg to "push" your horse into the turn? If you are riding a circle why don't you want the horse's body to conform to the arc of the circle so he is tracking straight? I get the impression you are looking for a lift in the front so he is turning like a board flipping around, doing a bit of a roll back.
I also see some reiners sit to the outside of a turn to push the horse around especially in the spin. In dressage we sit to the inside of the bend, never the outside. You need a bit of bend into the direction of the spin so the horse can step across his inside foreleg and not bump into it. I would establish this slight bend by dropping my weight slightly into my inside seatbone and stirrup while you guys seem to do this sitting into the outside seatbone, in some cases tilted off the outside of the horse with the inside leg in the air. I know the horse appears straight but if he was absolutely straight he would hit himself so his shoulders must be slightly bent.
So the question is do you understand what I am saying? If not, I assume you ride like this trainer. It took him a long time to finally understand what I was talking about. He couldn't hear me. Finally he realized my horse could not understand him because of the difference in position, timing, cues etc. I just wonder if there are ANY reiners who ride the way I have been taught. I know there have been a few really famous horses, like Rugged Lark, that were cross trained to do reining and dressage but what is the basic foundation of their training? The woman who trained him, Lynn Palmer (?) studies dressage as a young woman. So it must work - Just wondering.
Last edited by nefferdun; 02-09-2011 at 01:32 PM.