Originally Posted by gypsygirl
i put both my reins in one hand & smoothly slide the other up the reins, then switch hands. I don't jerk them or surprise them though, & like anebel said, practice a lot !! Also the timing is very important, I let the horse have the whole diagonal to stretch down & don't pick up until the ending letter.
The only problem anebel is that in the early tests the horses are not that well balanced or trained.
What I see so often is the rider picks up one rein (usually the outside) and tends to pull the nose/horse in that direction. Then they pick up the other rein and pull the nose that way. Most often the head/neck goes up, balance is lost and since that transition is part of the movement points are lost so.................
This will take practice but once learned it makes this transition so much smoother.
So put the hand you are going to use so that the thumb is touching the fingers and you have a "hole". Take the other hand and slide both reins through that "hole" as far as you can (without jabbing the horse in the mouth). To ensure the reins will be short enough have the hand with the "hole" go up the neck a bit. How far up will depend on how short you want the reins and the length of the horses neck. This you will have to experiment a bit to find the right spot.
At this point close that hand to not allow anymore rein through and take the other hand that was sliding the rein through and separate the reins so one is in each hand. As you apply some pressure on the rein and bring your arms into the "normal" position ( and assuming the horse adapts to the bit pressure) the horse should drop its head evenly and straight to the right position and you should have a horse balanced and ready to transition to anything else withing 2 steps.