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This is a discussion on Reins within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Horse avoids short reins

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    07-21-2011, 11:27 AM
Question Reins

When I used to go to my old barn and take lessons a couple of years ago, my trainer told me to have tight reins when you go over a jump. So, when I went to my first lesson in about a year (besides from when I went to riding camp) and I tried to jump with short reins she told me to keep them loose. Why is that? It was hard to jump with the short reins, but yet I see all these pictures of people with short reins when they get up into 2-point. Why is that?
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    07-21-2011, 01:38 PM
If you aren't steady and don't have a strong 2-point, then you should go over the jumps with longer reins to avoid hitting your horse in the mouth. Ideally you should have shorter reins when jumping so you have more control
    07-21-2011, 01:57 PM
Thanks. When I jump, I do keep tight reins, but she told me to keep them loose when we go over the jump. Thanks I was just wondering.
    07-22-2011, 11:49 AM
She probably means loose reins so you don't hang on the horses mouth, you keep short tight reins when your body goes forward over the fence, your hands go with it so you don't end up jerking the horse in the mouth that's what she means probablyh
    07-22-2011, 12:14 PM
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She might be letting you regain your balance and strengthen your core while avoiding the possibility of catching the horse in the mouth. When you regain what you may have had in the past, she may change back. OR, she may have rethought how she was teaching you back then.
    07-23-2011, 09:59 PM
Actually your reins should not have to be 'short' or 'long' while jumping. You should not have to shorten or loosen them while going over. You should approach the jump having your reins the way they normally are (light contact but not pulling the horse's mouth, but not loopy either) then while going into jumping position you move your hands forward to give a release. In other words, move your hands forward on the horse's neck, but do not tighten the reins. Doing this ensures that you do not catch the horse in the mouth and still have control when you land the jump.

So basically you should see in pictures is a slightly loose (but not loopy) rein and the hands forward on the neck. When your instructor tells you to loosen the rein, she probably means give a bigger release (move your hands farther up the neck). But I have to warn you: do not ever, EVER purposely shorten the reins over a jump or you could catch the horse in the mouth and possibly hurt them.

Good luck. I hope I was helpful.
    07-23-2011, 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by ErikaLynn    
If you aren't steady and don't have a strong 2-point, then you should go over the jumps with longer reins to avoid hitting your horse in the mouth. Ideally you should have shorter reins when jumping so you have more control
Err sorry, not to be confusing but I really do not agree with this. Your reins should not be short and tight over the jump because the horse needs room to stretch his neck forward over the jump. If you move your hands up to create a slight release but do not adjust the length of the reins, you will land with the same amount of control you took off with. There is no need to have tight reins while in the air.

And for people who don't have a good 2-point, it is not recomended to have a giant loopy rein. What they should do is grab a bit of mane so that if they get left behind they are tugging the mane and not the horse's mouth.
    07-27-2011, 03:01 PM
Thats what I thought emeraldstar642, thanks.

2-point, jump, jumping, lesson, reins

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