LAUNCHED on to the market only a couple of weeks ago, the Fantastic Elastic rein is the brainchild of dressage rider Carl Hester. When H&H heard another dressage rider, Nicky Barrett, was using it with many of her pupils, we decided to investigate.
What is it?
DESIGNED to establish a better feel between horse and rider, particularly in training, the Fantastic Elastic rein is named after Carl Hester’s grand prix horse of the same name. Made from British hand-stitched leather, Carl says: “It is a rein that can benefit all riding disciplines be it dressage, jumping or hacking.”
Who uses it?
NICKY Barrett has been using it with all her pupils for around five months and has seen good results.
“I use it on horses working in a snaffle, in particular when I am teaching my pupils as it gives them a much better feel with the horse’s mouth,” she explains.
“When you tell people to hold for a split second and then release the reins they sometimes pull back too much and then drop the reins. These reins give a steady contact throughout the exercise and, in my opinion, are better than side reins.
“Although I mainly use it on my pupils, even advanced riders can use it as we can all hold on for too long,” says Nicky.
“It stops you getting tight in the hand and the horses work rounder and softer. You can close and release without creating stiffness in the back.
“It’s not a gadget, but just a really simple idea.”
Other riders who have been using the reins include national side saddle champion Samantha Boxall, show jumper Justin Tuff and trainer Liz Fellows.
Price £65 www.carlhesterrein.co.uk
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (13 December, ’07)