Happy Rant about Lesson and Question/Help
I had a lesson this past week and was so happy when it turned out well. I had not jumped in 4 1/2 weeks and my horse had a minor cut. Also, my trainer was away so his friend came and taught (although i LOVE lessons with him because he is very thorough and offers another perspective)! I was pretty worried that i would have no eye and that my position wouldn't be good. However we did some roll backs and inside turns and i found awesome distances. I felt like my position was solid and that my horse was listening! Overall it was an awesome lesson that reminded me why i love this sport so much!
SOOO... even though i had an awesome lesson, i still am struggling with my bad habit of TOO LONG REINS!!! :shock: My instructor is on me constantly about it and i KNOW i need to shorten them but its like i have a mental block... :? I think it is possibly because i can get away with riding with them long, meaning that it is easier for me to work with my horse and ask for him to come round??? Thats my only theory! ANY help that you can offer, or possible reasons why im having so much trouble would be awesome! And feel free to rant about your bad habits too - might make me feel better! :D
Long reins is my problem too.
I don't know how to 'fix' it - I tried tying the reins but that was just a pain and I had no way of going longer if the horse tripped or jumped ahead of me.
Maybe more pushing from the rear to get more collection, I don't know. But hopefully we will both find out in this thread
I have a few ideas for long reins. Put rubber bands or tape where your hands should be holding the reins to give you a visual spot to monitor whether you're letting them go slack. Most likely your horse is talking you out of contact and you don't know it. They're pretty good at that game.
In half seat. pick up the proper contact, plant your hands 1/3 the way up his neck (along side not on top of this neck so you keep the straight line from elbow to bit) and keep them there. Concentrate on keeping your elbows soft so you're not hitting him in the mouth. You want the contact consistent but gentle.
The other idea is to hold the reins in the proper contact, but bridge in a riding crop like a handle bar. Grab a little bit of mane to keep everything in reference and don't let them go slack! Again be aware of not locking your elbows.
Make sure your fingers are closed around the reins. Not a tight grip, but firm enough to keep them from slipping. Firm hands, soft elbows is the key to not letting them slip. Your horse will eventually stop trying to talk you out of the contact if your elbows stay soft and provide him with soft inviting contact.
This should go without saying, but these are just suggestions to not let your reins slip long. These are not ideas for riding on the bit or on contact. For that, lots of transitions, half halts and riding squares instead of circles will help to connect your horse better.
You could also get a pair of colorful rubber jumper reins to school in at home...you know the ones with 3 different colored sections...get yourself comfortable with riding in a specific color and then try to transfer it over onto the leather reins...good luck!
So when I ride with too short of reins *in my eyes they are too short because I am so accustomed to long* Nelson braces. Head goes high, doesn't soften his jaw, wont relax at the poll, and it just isn't nice.
So when I ride with longer reins, I find I am soft. Odd I know - I cannot even explain it - but there ya have it. So when I ride with a longer rein, my horse relaxes his jaw, softens at the poll and is able to move out and under himself.
And another, when I ride with too short of reins, and I tense up, Nelson goes under the vertcile and I cannot get him to track up. I 100% know it is my fault, but I just don't have the tools to get the proper results....
So when I ride with a longer rein, he opens up, comes under himself and is much happier - because I am softer and more open.
Thank you everyone!
MyBoyPuck: Thank you for all your suggestions! I will definitely be trying them! :) I am also hoping to get someone to remind me while im riding, as annoyed as i might get!
Ahsisi: That same idea dawned on me today! I was staring at someone else's and then i realized that they could help ME! Might borrow a friends!
MIEventer: I feel the same way that you do. If i shorten the reins his head goes up, i get tense and loosen my fingers. When that happens i feel more ... flexible. Like i can play with him easier.
Well lots of practice and ill figure something out!
if your reins are too long then probably something else in your body is out of place, mainly your upper body. If you’re upper body is in the right spot it will feel funny and out of control if your reins are to long.
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