How do you hold your reins?

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How do you hold your reins?

This is a discussion on How do you hold your reins? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    04-28-2012, 12:55 AM
How do you hold your reins?

My question to you is: How were you taught to hold the reins?

I am lucky enough to work at an animal hospital where there are quite a few equestrians around who are all crazy about horses. We got into a conversation about how you hold the reins yesterday in regards to what we were taught.

I distinctly remember holding the reins in a different manner before my accident than after. (At the time it wasn't so clear and I had to re-learn EVERYTHING.) Before the accident I was taught to hold the reins in two hands in a tight grip while leaving your pinky out. (Sorry if that is a poor description-not quite sure how to describe it.)

Interestingly enough- my orthopedic surgeon said that leaving the pinky out is probably what the "very interesting" fracture in my hand.

After the accident, when I was back in the saddle and everything was fuzzy (concussion too...) I had to ask how to hold the reins properly and was taught to keep all my fingers in a tight grip on the reins INCLUDING the pinky.

Since I ran into my co-worker who uses the "pinky out" method (and yet another who rides Western...which is a horse of a different color altogether, hehe) I figured I would come on here and poke a few brains as to what you all do.
So tell me- are you in or out?
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    04-28-2012, 01:02 AM
I hold my reins thumb on top, with 3 fingers holding the reins and my pinky left out. Wrists turned a tad. Like my avatar
    04-28-2012, 01:05 AM
The pinky out is correct. I sometimes have my ring finger out as well on my left hand, as the knuckle on that finger is often pained due to other sports injuries, and I don't feel like I can use that hand when it is sore.
    04-28-2012, 01:18 AM
Green Broke
Pinkie out.

I've ridden with the next finger up out as well... I think that is how I ride with a double bridle too? One with pinkie and then one with the one up. I can't remember, I just do it.

I don't think I could ride pinkie would feel so uncontrolled and unrefined!
    04-28-2012, 02:10 AM
I guess I'm not the one to answer your question. My horse is just learning to neck rein with leg pressure. She's doing great. I am SO busy riding over logs, creeks, and hacking a new trail, I switch to one hand while the other is moving branches out of my face. I just try to always maintain proper length of reins on her bit. She and I are always working on obstacles that my finger placement on the reins don't come into focus for us. So I guess this reply is a zero on your concern level. It did however make me think that I don't think about it so thank you! I guess I need to know how to hold the reins too, pinky in or out!
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    04-28-2012, 02:13 AM
I hold them as redape. On rare occasions I will put the pinky onthe outside because it instantly shortens the reins by about an inch, if needed. Bad habit, tho.
    04-28-2012, 08:45 AM
I got taught to and always ride with my pinkie out
    04-28-2012, 12:21 PM
Thumbs on top, pinkies out. :)
    04-28-2012, 03:14 PM
Green Broke
I don't think the horse cares
    04-28-2012, 05:16 PM
Snaffle rein between pinkie and ring finger, curb rein between ring and middle finger...

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