Prefer to listen to this post?
Early last month I found a post on Instagram advertising a brand new long reining and in hand class. This sounded like the perfect thing for me and Scottie. I had been struggling with thinking of things to do with him while long reining and this not only gave us new things to try, but also gave us something to aim for. There is nothing better to help me focus than setting a goal like a long reining competition.
How do online long reining competitions work?
Much like online dressage, online long reining works the same. You long rein through a specific test, filmed from C. You are scored out of 10 on each movement, receive collectives and feedback from the judge. These can be existing dressage tests or new tests written specifically for long reining.
Long Rein & In-hand Test 1
The test we “rode” for our first month was brand new and written specifically for in hand and long reining. It involved 10m circles at walk and trot and 3 centre lines with halts. Reading the test through, it sounded really difficult for long reining. But the more we practiced elements from it, the more it made sense. For me, the hardest part was the centre lines as it’s hard to keep Scottie straight standing 2m behind him.
I do think the test is easier if you compete in hand, rather than long reining, purely because it’s a bit easier to keep your horse straight and be accurate with your markers. So I wonder if the class proves popular if they will end up splitting entries for long reining and in hand.
Our test & results
If you follow us on social media, you might have seen that our final practice went a bit wrong. Scottie has always been a bit unsettled trotting on the long reins but has got much better from practicing the movements for our test. Our last practice was just some of this bubbling over.
As a result, when we were filming our test, Scottie was a bit tentative after the previous days drama. I didn’t want to push him too much. This was our last chance to film our test so I kept everything a bit quiet. This meant that both our walk and trot lacked a bit of energy.
On the whole I was really pleased with our test. I was a bit disappointed by our first centre line and both our left handed circles were a bit small. But I thought for our first attempt, especially after the drama the day before, it was a nice test.
My results & feedback
I think my results were really fair. we scored 62.94% and came 5th. We got mostly 6s and 7s, with a 5 and 5.5. The comments throughout the test were mostly energy related and both our left rein circles were a bit too small. Which I knew after having filmed it.
“Promising partnership! Keep the activity in the paces and don’t be afraid to use the outside rein to ask for straightness and to keep him out on the circle. Good first effort!”
Also, how gorgeous are the rosettes? I do find that online competitions have such gorgeous rosettes. I have won classes at actual competitions and the rosettes aren’t anywhere near as nice as this one I got for 5th. My only slight issue is I’m a bit old school and like the rosettes to be the right colours for the place they are. But more and more places are moving away from this system.
Future Long Reining Competition
I have really enjoyed entering a long reining competition and will certainly be entering again. I think even once I am riding again, I want to limit the amount of ridden work Scottie does in the school, so I might aim to only hack him at the start and stick to long reining for schooling and slowly re introduce schooling under saddle. Hopefully this will help him stay sound. Entering these long reining competitions certainly gives us something to aim for.
Since this class is brand new, there is only one test at the moment, which means we will be entering the exact same test again this month. So I am really interested to see how we can improve on this score. I also hope if there continues to be interest in the class that they will write some new tests. (Preferably with less centre lines!)
If anyone else isn’t riding at the moment but wants to give their horse something more interesting to do, I can highly recommend having a look at Dressage Riders Online!