Holding the reins. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-19-2012, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by goldrushx View Post
shovel chocolate eggs into our mouths come Easter? Tradition.
I don't need an excuse or a reason for that apart from JUST BECAUSE

I don't know the answer, I think tradition is a good as answer as any. Some things do change with time.

When I was learning to ride (English in England) trying to avoid all those excited animals coming off of the ark two by two, the main things I heard shouted was "Keep your heels and hands DOWN" heels fair enough, but we had our hands in 'piano playing' position, and were inspected at the end of the ride and if you didn't have dirty fingers, from rubbing on the horse, then you were in trouble.

The the instructor went away to a training day and came back with the revolution of turning the hand so now we are riding thumbs up, but still resting mainly on the neck, so just your little finger got covered in horse grease.

LOL those were the days.
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-19-2012, 05:09 PM
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I actually think that Goldrush may be onto something. Keeping the reins between your pinky and ring finger gives you more grip strength in your hand. That's one of the reasons that saddle bronc riders hold their bronc rein the exact same way....strength.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-19-2012, 05:35 PM
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Very good question! I was attempting to show my mom how to hold the reins the other day (finally got her on a horse after about 15 years of trying WOOT!), and she asked me about the pinky thing. I hadn't every really thought about it until then. That's just the way it was done. But this seems logical to me:

Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
This might not be the reason but if you were to open your fingers.. without having your pinky underneath the rein, you'd have a poor grip on the reins, or you might even lose them. Only your thumb would be holding it. With your pinky there, you can open your fingers but still have control.
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post #14 of 16 Old 01-19-2012, 05:41 PM
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An instructor I had once told me that the pinky is on the outside because it isn't strong enough to make any impact while riding. She also told me that it would be easy to damage the little finger should the horse do something unexpected, it would be smooshed between the rein and the rest of the hand.

She taught me to ride so that if i stuck out my pinkies they would touch my horses neck and if I stuck out my thumbs they would touch (this put my hands at about a 45 degree angle). When I switched barns my new instructor was a little confused by a rider with such a hand position she seemed really put off by it, but then, she was far more put off that I cantered with my butt glued to the saddle.
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-19-2012, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
This might not be the reason but if you were to open your fingers.. without having your pinky underneath the rein, you'd have a poor grip on the reins, or you might even lose them. Only your thumb would be holding it. With your pinky there, you can open your fingers but still have control.
Great way of saying it, and gloves are a big help too. I have ridden so long with out gloves i finally bought some and its gonna be much better i bet.

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post #16 of 16 Old 01-19-2012, 09:59 PM
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Just make sure if you use reins without any grip, that they don't slip with gloves. I have flat leather reins.. no traction. I have friction gloves but they were slipping so badly!

But thanks VT :) And thanks Ink!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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