Charlotte Dujardin once said, “Short reins win gold metals.” While there is a lot more that goes into winning a gold metal than riding with short reins, there is a good reason for riding with a shorter rein and a forward feeling hand.
Many amateur riders ride with their reins WAY too long and this is a huge problem! First and foremost from a safety perspective when your reins are too long it is extremely difficult to control your horse in case of an emergency!
Secondly, when your reins are too long you have to move your hands around way too much in order to influence your horse!
Here are some tips to help you keep your reins short:
- Keep you reins from getting long by keeping the rein pressed between your thumb and pointer finger. Pushing down with your thumb onto your pointer finger will keep the reins from slipping. This allows you to keep your reins short but still supple with your fingers.
- When you shorten your reins, always shorten the inside rein first and then gradually bend your elbows and take the shorter contact. You don’t want to just shorten the reins and pull!
- Try to keep your hands in front of the saddle and hip-width apart – this will allow you to work on riding from the leg and to the hand!
- Shorter reins will help you to establish a steady contact with your horses’ mouth and will also help you to feel more secure and stable in the saddle.