reins - how to use them?

Horsekaren

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I have really started to get to grips with the outside rein, I am really starting to feel my horse respond to it, a half halt ect to stop falling in out and pushing me into the fence.
Can someone summarize what the inside rein is for and the outside rein is for (reins for dummys almost)

I recently watched a video that explained your horse will never work onto a nice contact unless you have a steady outside rein ... mine absolutely isn't but i'm learning.

Does anyone have tips or ideas i can try to help me learn to keep my hand still? but still be able to use it?

Also when you need to shorten your reins but then your arms go strait how does that even happen?

Finally when you are cantering a 20 meter circle and your horse isn't sitting back, trying to take you out to the fence at one part of the circle and dropping you in at the opposite part of the circle what aids do you use to correct this. My biggest issue is i need to slow him down and sit him back but i just cant seem to get it, we get it for 4 strides then we fall back into a really rushy trot. I have a video if any would like to see what i mean ,i can pm it. Its not an out of control mess but it is at points mainly because he locks his neck constantly and i haven't got the knack of unlocking it quick enough.

I have a really good instructor and we are working on this but i like to hear different perspectives so i have lots of ideas in my head when im riding alone.
 

Batgirl

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Reeeealallly random, and not for everyone and I would probably not do it while jumping but I fixed my 'hands' but putting a surcingle round my waist/elbows. Basically it is not often the actual hands are the problem but core stability in relation to the shoulders/arm position. the surcingle allowed me to have feedback when this was going wrong but still allowed me to move my arm when needed.
 

Pinkvboots

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Inside rein is for creating how much bend you want, outside rein is almost like a support, so for example if your on the right rein coming up to a corner, you would ride a bit inside leg outside rein so you are pushing the horse into the corner and helping to support the bend, rather than cutting the corner, using your corners can also help set up a nice soft contact once you are on the straight a lot of people do forget to ride there corners.

Cantering a 20 meter circle is probably quite difficult for him, why do t you focus on doing half a circle well and bring him back to trot then ask for half a circle again, if your trying to slow your canter it's all about core strength sitting up tall and controlling the canter with your seat, takes a lot of practice.

Any collected pace is harder for them as they have to sit back on there hocks it just takes time for them to build the strength to take the weight behind, aim for a few decent strides then push on onto a more working trot or canter.
 

Annagain

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This isn't very text book but my boy used to set his neck against me terribly and refuse to bend. I sorted it by putting my inside leg right forward and giving him a bit of a kick almost on his shoulder - it was just enough to push his shoulder over and unlock his neck so I could then ask him to bend again. After a month or so of almost physically pushing his shoulder over he learned not to fix down the inside of his body and my aids and reminders to bend were enough. Even now, moving his shoulder is key to keeping him nicely bent and working correctly but I don't have to be quite so draconian these days.
 

Horsekaren

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This isn't very text book but my boy used to set his neck against me terribly and refuse to bend. I sorted it by putting my inside leg right forward and giving him a bit of a kick almost on his shoulder - it was just enough to push his shoulder over and unlock his neck so I could then ask him to bend again. After a month or so of almost physically pushing his shoulder over he learned not to fix down the inside of his body and my aids and reminders to bend were enough. Even now, moving his shoulder is key to keeping him nicely bent and working correctly but I don't have to be quite so draconian these days.
You know what, sometimes that is exactly how i feel, yesterday we were doing lovely 15m circles until the same point of the circle every time i could just feel his shoulder drop, its like he just drops it, at the same time drops me in so i become off balanced, the more i try and pick him up the more he ignores me. We then moved onto lots of leg yielding along the straights and circles ect and he was perfect. I know they dont think like us but i can almost hear him go HAHA to me every time he does it.

As for the neck locking i just am a bit lost with how to stop it, i unlock it and then within a stride he has locked it again but in a different way. I obviously not getting something right as if i work him on a long lose rein he stretches and doesn't lock so we can be sure its rider inexperience
 

Denbob

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This isn't very text book but my boy used to set his neck against me terribly and refuse to bend. I sorted it by putting my inside leg right forward and giving him a bit of a kick almost on his shoulder - it was just enough to push his shoulder over and unlock his neck so I could then ask him to bend again. After a month or so of almost physically pushing his shoulder over he learned not to fix down the inside of his body and my aids and reminders to bend were enough. Even now, moving his shoulder is key to keeping him nicely bent and working correctly but I don't have to be quite so draconian these days.
This is exactly what my instructor has advised with mine - he blocks me completely and just starts spiralling in. I need to do some work on strengthening my left hand and right leg combo but as a quick reminder that he has to back off that leg, a squeeze in front of the girth worked perfectly
 

SpringArising

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As for the neck locking i just am a bit lost with how to stop it, i unlock it and then within a stride he has locked it again but in a different way. I obviously not getting something right as if i work him on a long lose rein he stretches and doesn't lock so we can be sure its rider inexperience
I've just sent you a long PM, but the quick answer to this is constant change of direction and keeping him bent around your inside leg so he can't anticipate which way to lock his neck.
 

YorksG

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Try getting hold of Mary Wanless books, she gives fairly straightforward explanations. The other thing to try is riding without reins, steering with your seat and legs.
 

lamlyn2012

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Aim to keep your elbows bent and close by your sides. To help you do this put a sponge between your elbows and your sides and keep it there.
Regarding the canter issue, I would do excercises for suppleness and straightness. A good exercise for straightness is to set out two or three sets of two poles about a metre apart and about two metres from sides of school and running parallell, like riding on inside track but riding between the two poles. Ride walk, trot and eventually canter through your line of poles. Do transitions down your line and possibly counter flexion.
I think you would find the book "The less than perfect horse" by Jane Thelwall very useful. It's quite an old book but very helpfull. Her illustration of "John's Tunnel" and riders influence on bend is especially worth a read.
 

ZondaR

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With all due respect, it sound to me like a session with a good instructor would do you a power of good. You are asking all the right questions but teaching yourself is extremely difficult and fraught with problems. Someone on the ground telling you the exact time to implement the necessary corrections is a great way to learn the feel you need to practice on your own.
 

Annagain

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With all due respect, it sound to me like a session with a good instructor would do you a power of good. You are asking all the right questions but teaching yourself is extremely difficult and fraught with problems. Someone on the ground telling you the exact time to implement the necessary corrections is a great way to learn the feel you need to practice on your own.
To be fair, I think HK does have regular lessons, she's just a very conscientious pupil, does a lot of homework and likes to learn from as many people as possible.
 

DabDab

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To be fair, I think HK does have regular lessons, she's just a very conscientious pupil, does a lot of homework and likes to learn from as many people as possible.
But without having read some of the OP's posts before you wouldn't know that. The questions asked do seem more like someone with all the right kind of attitude teaching themself. A good instructor should really be working with someone (particularly someone as keen as HK) to give them various techniques for rein contact and keeping hands still etc.
 

ihatework

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But without having read some of the OP's posts before you wouldn't know that. The questions asked do seem more like someone with all the right kind of attitude teaching themself. A good instructor should really be working with someone (particularly someone as keen as HK) to give them various techniques for rein contact and keeping hands still etc.
I’m not convinced the OP is doing themselves favours by trying to learn this type of thing from a forum, I expect they just get very confused.

I agree it doesn’t sound like they have the right type of instruction. These sorts of things need to be discussed regularly with a decent instructor.

I do applaud the OP, they are obviously keen to learn and it must be quite difficult to actually start as an adult, especially for someone with an analytical mind. As kids you learn by trial, error and either a pony and/or an instructor that gives you a good bollocking if you get it wrong 😂

OP - have a look at ‘Ride with your Mind’ I didn’t get on with the style well, but I think it might suit you from what I’ve seen
 

Carrottom

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Yep this. It's getting your elbows right that will allow you to keep your hands still and independent of your legs and body.
I find I need to get my shoulders right before I can get get my elbows right. So shoulders down and relaxed, elbows bent but lose not locked.
 
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