Originally Posted by horsecv
I'm riding generally with a light grip. The reins I use are usually braided.
I hold the reins light enough that if the horse puts his neck down suddenly the reins would slip through.
Sometimes my instructor says to "soften the reins", which I've probably incorrectly understood as not having a kung fu grip. I'm actually not sure what she means now that I think about it.
Are you supposed to have a kung fu grip? It seems like being too heavy on the grip would be a bad idea, I feel like I would be jerking the horse around a lot.
You're riding with your grip too loose. The horse should not be able to pull the reins through your hands. This does not mean to tense up your body or pull back, just maintain a firm grip. Unless your hands are dripping sweat or something you should be able to hold on to a pair of braided reins with or without gloves.
I used to have this problem. For the first couple of years of riding I was actually holding the reins incorrectly. Instead of holding them between my fingers I was just closing my fingertips tightly on them
My trainer would yell CLOSE YOUR HANDS and I knew darn well that I was squeezing those reins! It took the pony I was riding at the time tripping or throwing his head or something at the canter and the reins popping right out of my hands for us to finally figure out the problem, and it still took awhile to fix the habit. Luckily that pony was a pretty chill fellow and just slowed to a walk when he was suddenly cantering along with me reinless!
That said, they DO make horse riding gloves and reins with more grip to them. I think that working on your grip with your current equipment is a better first approach.