I ride English, so I've always learnt to hold the reins in both hands and on a good contact. The range of contact differs with each horse I ride (I mean, SOME horses you wouldn't even DREAM of letting off a contact!!! *shudders - remembering Sabre, the little git!!!*) but I love riding horses in a collected frame. I feel more in tune with what the horse underneath me is doing. I can tell when he's playing with the bit, when he's tense, when he's bored etc.
You also learn to have really quiet hands when you're collecting a horse. One slight yank on the reins from losing your balance can cause a lot of head tossing and losing that nice spring coil you'd been trying for 10 minutes to achieve!!!!
But I must admit, moseying along on a loose rein while trail riding is sooooo relaxing!
The art of keeping a horse between YOU and the GROUND!
Last edited by DarkEquine; 06-13-2009 at 04:08 AM.