Rein Tension in Transitions and Halts during Equestrian Dressage Training
Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7054, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Sport Horse Science, 3145 Sandhill Road, Mason, MI 48854, USA
Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7046, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 14 September 2019 / Accepted: 17 September 2019 / Published: 23 September 2019
In the equestrian dressage discipline, the transitions (changes) between gaits and into halts, occur often in riding sessions. Rein tension before, during and after the transitions between gaits, and the transitions into halts were studied. The vertical motion data for the horse’s head and croup, and rein tension data were collected from six professional riders, each riding three of their own horses during normal training sessions. The horse training levels varied from basic to advanced. The activities during the sessions were categorised into gaits, transitions between gaits and into halts based on video evaluation. The transitions were categorised according to whether they had intermediate steps that were not characteristic of the preceding or the following gait. The rein tension just before the transition was strongly related to rein tension during the transitions. There was slightly lower tension during the upward transitions than during the downward transitions. There was no difference in rein tension depending on whether intermediate steps were present or not. The left rein tension was generally lower than the right rein tension. The rein tension associated with the transitions and halts varied substantially between riders and also the horses. This information is useful for trainers seeking to understand the rein tension patterns associated with transitions.