Rein position English vs Western - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 06-05-2009, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Rein position English vs Western

A thread in the Critique section brought this question to my mind. How do you hold your reins? Do you ride English or Western? Why do you hold your reins the way you do?

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-05-2009, 08:14 PM
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Im an english rider so im used to english but even when I rode back in england I always only used one hand for riding... its easier. When your on the road you need one hand free to say thanks the drivers :p

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 12:37 AM
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I guess I'm pretty taboo, I really worked hard to get my hand position in dressage lessons, so I really enjoy holding my hands that way, even if the reins don't have the contact like a dressage trained horse is used to, but I ride in western tack. Sometimes I ride either way, depending on the mood.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 01:10 AM
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I really prefer western handset, loose reins and one hand. But I do have an appreciation for english riding, direct reining, ect. So I'm getting into it now that I ride english.
If it were my horse, I would be neck reining and using one hand, unless showing or jumping. Even in an english saddle.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 06:40 AM
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We just do recreational, western style riding and always use the one handed, loose rein, neck reining style....and that's what our mares are used to, also. When others ride our horses that are used to the always-in-contact style of handling the reins, I always have to warn them that they'll spend all day dealing with head tossing if they stay tight in the mouth with our mares.

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post #6 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 08:12 AM
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My hand position changes, depending on the bit and what we're doing. If I'm running a barrel pattern, I hold the reins in a fist. If I'm riding western, I am usually riding with split reins and my pointer finger separating. Riding english I am usually in a typical english form, and using both hands.

When I am working on something with Java, sometimes I separate my hands riding western, it really all depends.

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post #7 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 02:36 PM
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When I'm riding equatation, I have one hand on the reins, held just in front of my saddle horn and neck rein.

When I'm working my horse, my hands are all over the place, I often use two hands (western... I ride in snaffles).

I am really bad about switching my hands on the reins as well. When I canter to the left, I'll hold the reins in my right hand. When I reverse and canter to the right, I'll switch the reins to my left hand. Terrible habit, but I do it at home all the time.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 07:09 PM
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Uh... I hold the reins however I feel like doing it at the time...

Trail riding - one handed, loose reins
Mounted Games - one handed, good contact, bridged
Campdrafting - two hand, bridged, low and good contact
Jumping/dressage/showing - Two hands, good contact, ranging from low in showing to higher for dressage/jumping
Bridleless - No reins :]

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post #9 of 16 Old 06-08-2009, 07:23 PM
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I hated two-handed reining til I got my younger mare. Now I actually prefer it, I feel more balanced; more able to communicate subtleties and less likely to use a crutch (horn, etc.) It taught me WAY better balance.

I ride exclusively in western tack, and ride my older mare one-handed but my younger one doesn't neck rein yet, so I still ride two-handed on her.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-12-2009, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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How do you hold the rein in your hand? We hold our hand above the rein with pinkies towards the muzzle.

Are you absolutely sure you wanna mess with my carrots?
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