I have many wonderful memories of my wonderful instructor, who sadly passed away back in 2009 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was the woman who taught me to ride and after leaving for a couple of years I came back with my own horse. When I first brought Chance over to her stables and started lessons I was, for some twelve year old reason, terrified of actually gripping the reins. I think I was afraid that I was going to hurt his mouth o_O Needless to say my instructors favorite thing to say was
"You have to actually hold on to those reins! You are NOT at a tea party!"
I still remember that to this day. Oh and in case you were wondering, I did get over the fear of holding too tight to the reins ;)