Q. What made you decide to ride without reins?
A. This was not a planned decision at the time, but came about as the result of researching and analyzing the ways used to take control of the horse’s movement, path and posture.
Q. What makes it possible to ride a horse without reins?
A. I discovered a previously unknown characteristic of the horses’ nature and theorized that a rider could control the movement, path and posture of a horse without using any hand signals or reins.
Q. How daring must one be to try this method of riding?
A. This is not about bravery.
Q. Are circus tricks used?
A. No, not by me.
Q. Is it Horse Whispering?
A. No, this is not about “horse whispering”
Q. What is it then?
A. This is a new scientific method of communication with a horse.
Q. Why do you consider your method to be scientific?
A. It is scientific because anyone trained in this method is able to train and ride a horse accordingly.
Q. Why are you bringing this to peoples attention?
A. This is based on unknown knowledge about the horse and I think we all need to increase our knowledge of the horse and related matters.
Q. Why do you say this is new?
A. This is the first time that a rider can take control of a horse’s movement, path and posture without reins according to the international standards of this sport.
Q. How is this method different?
A. The instruction standards of the FEI, the CEF and all other countries use hand signals and/or aids as staples with which to take control of the horse’s movement, path and posture. This is a very revolutionary discovery regarding the training and riding of the horse; in this method hand signals are not used as they play no role in influencing the horse.
Q. How long ago did you begin working with this method?
A. 25 years ago I theorized this method.
Q. What was the first experiment to make this method practical?
A. I immediately began to train at 14.3 hh horse named Sam and after a year of hard work this horse was able to jump 4’3″ (130 cm) jumping course and performed a Prix St. George dressage test with exceptional results, especially considering no reins or hand signals were used.
Q. Did you follow up on this experiment and training?
A. Yes. In 2003 I began to train a 16 hh thoroughbred named Gladiator who, so far, is able to take a show jumping course and perform dressage movements without reins or any hand signals, dressage movements such as: shouldering, traverse, renvershalf pass, flying change of the legs at canter, etc. without using reins or hand signals. Gladiator is still improving his performance.
Q, Does this horse remain in form according to known standards?
A. Most definitely.He performs these types of movements while his head and neck are correctly flexed (head on the vertical, neck arched beautifully, poll higher than withers and with correct and beautiful top line. Hind legs are placed properly underneath his body, haunches and hocks are active enough, which allows him to move rhythmically with very good impulsion. He is able to keep his spine straight or bent according to the requested movement.
Q. What is he doing now?
A. May 1st, 2005 Gladiator successfully completed a clear round on a jumping course of 13 jumps including combinations and distance jumps. This course was designed with upright and oxer jumps height of 3’3″ ( 100 cm) to 4′ (120 cm) . And his training continues. It is important to mention that the poles used for the course were only 10′ (3m) in length and if you look closely in the above picture you will notice that there are no wings to the standards of the jumps.
Q. What has been the reaction of people when they have seen your riding without reins?
A. When I was taking any jumping course the spectators were silent and focused on me and the horse as you can see in the following pictures and all were amazed and could not believe what they were seeing.
Q. What is the reaction of young people?
A. The younger ones are very excited and willing to learn more about what is happening.
Q. The reactions of those with more experience?
A. Many experienced horse people are impressed and interested in this method. Some however justify this method by believing the horse alone to be exceptional and it would never happen again with another horse. For still others, this method is breaking the taboos of horse back riding which traditionally teaches that one must always used reins and hand signals to communicate with the horse.