Switching Reins from Each Hand - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Switching Reins from Each Hand

Okay, I have a question. I had a riding lesson for the first time in about 3 years (I've done lessons on and off for almost 20 years now) and something came up that I guess I've just never heard before.

Right now I'm still in Western and my instructor informed me to always keep my reins in the hand that's on the inside. So if my left hand is toward the center of the arena, then my reins go in that hand and vice versa.

I have to admit, I've never heard this before and I've ridden with this stables for many years in the past. When riding Western I have always kept my reins in one hand. Is this a normal rule of one-handed riding?

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 08:05 PM
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No it's not.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 08:25 PM
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I've never heard that but I don't show so I'm not sure what is "propper" in that realm.

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post #4 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 09:05 PM
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I simply cannot imagine a cowboy switching rope and rein back and forth based on whether they turn left or right.
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 09:18 PM
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I show, and have for decades, you would be so marked down if you did that, except in trail, when you open a gate, but you have to put the reins back in the hand you changed from after the gate is done.

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post #6 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I thought. It was such an unusual thing to be asked to do. I'd never been asked to do it before and I just wondered what the point would be to continuous switch hands. It's terribly inconvenient and I can't even think of how it would be even remotely useful.

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post #7 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 09:32 PM
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Time to change instructors, maybe?
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-17-2017, 10:03 PM
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You would be DQed for changing rein hand.
Most people ride with their left hand, but I started with my right, and thus still ride that way
The only time you switch hands, is if you need to, to work atrail obstacle, which happens in my case, since I ride with my right hand and trail courses are set up so you ride with your left, and use your right to open gates, pick up stuff, ect
If you have to switch hands in atrail course, you do it once you ride up to that obstacle, and after you work it, like a gate, you must switch back to the hand you rode into the course with
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-18-2017, 02:05 AM
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I've never heard of it either. Maybe your instructor wants you to be proficient with both hands and I could understand that but her/his reason for it doesn't make sense.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-18-2017, 08:58 AM
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I ride trail, and switch hands frequently, or sometimes just drape the rein (I use a one-piece yacht-rope rein) over the pommel if I need both hands to take fotos or whatever.
My guys go bitless and on a loose rein. They respond well to leg and voice. Undoubtedly they feel me switch hands, and feel changes in the amount of slack, but if it matters to them, they've never complained.
My horse Oily will set the rein swinging in time with his gait, and appears to enjoy having the rein slapping against his cheeks. He is a retired Dressage competitor; wonder if this is a reaction to always going with contact before he came to me?

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