The mane release is a technique we use to introduce the beginner rider to jumping. Grabbing the mane with one or both hands as to not punish the horse in the mouth or back is instrumental until the rider can keep his/her balance. That said, it is not uncommon you see professional riders using this release from time to time as well. We all find grabbing a pinch of mane useful sometimes!
The photos and their descriptions in this post will illustrate the mane release and how a trainer may teach a beginner rider the release technique through its three steps. Additional photos with my wife, Caitlin, and my daughter Natasha both demonstrating a mane release.
Stay tuned for part three to discuss the long release. To book a clinic with me click the button below.
The Take-Off: Here we see a professional rider demonstrating the mane release at take-off when the rider grabs the mane prior to the horse taking off the ground.
Holding the mane over the jump: Here the professional rider shows us how a beginner rider can hold the mane over the jump so as not to interfere with the horse in the air. This is a beneficial technique to use until the rider is more established in their position and balance.
Holding the mane on landing: The professional continues to demonstrate this technique as the horse lands. It’s vital that a beginner rider does not interfere with the horse’s mouth or back from take-off to landing.
Letting go of the mane once the rider feels secure enough to hold their position over fences without getting left behind or interfering with the horse’s mouth. The hands are usually pressed on or near the top of the mane to support the beginner’s body.
My wife, Caitlin, at 11-years-old, is nicely freeing up the reins.
When used with more advanced riders, it provides maximum use of the horse’s neck and sometimes a bit of support as well.
My daughter Natasha aboard Donnate. A classic mane release with an advanced rider. Remember, it’s all about mastering all releases and using the one you feel appropriate for the moment. It’s a choice.