Miniature Horse World Magazine - Page 71

Practicing this skill of applying a whip properly can be achieved best by ground driving your horse. You can teach the horse to listen and react to very subtle cues if you are willing to invest the time in training this skill. When your horse begins to fall out of collection, you can use the whip to move your horse forward to connect with the bit. If you watch more seasoned exhibitors, you’ll see examples of good reinsmanship at many of the shows you attend. If you train your eye to watch the performances, you will be able to pick out the exhibitors with great whip handling skills, because it will reflect well in their overall presentation of their horses. Although good reinsmanship is not judged in rail (driving) classes, it can greatly affect the overall picture of your horses’ presenta- tion in the arena. This is especially true when it comes to the rein back. When the judge is a few horses down from you in the lineup, and you know you are about to be asked to back, you can apply the whip gently to move the horse up into the bridle. This signals to the horse, “Okay, we are going to move now”. Then you can ask for two or three straight steps backward. If your horse is set up in line straight and you move off backward immediately upon being asked, that looks pretty sharp! It appears you were prepared, thinking ahead and work well enough with your horse to achieve a short, straight and prompt back. Well executed, this maneuver could make a difference where you place, when compared to others in the class. Some judges use the back maneuver as a tie breaker in that respect. participate and do very well. This is just one more way to explore driving, all the while promoting your breed! Have a nice drive, and don’t forget to use your whip! Meet Suzanne Border Suzanne Border is an AMHA judge with many years experience in driving both in the show ring and at Combined Driving Events held across the country and internationally. I encourage everyone to attend any American Driving Society clinics or events in your part of the country where you’ll see first rate “Whips” at work and you’ll also learn a lot more about the sport of driving. There are clinics you can participate in or audit and attending a Combined Driving Event (CDE) in your neck of the woods will help you hone your driving skills outside the arena. Most of these events have scaled down versions for Very Small Equine (VSE) that level the playing field for Miniatures and allow them to O ctober / N o v ember 2015 Miniature Horse World 69