You should always be striving for more finesse with the reins. More finesse gives you better control of your horse. So...
This video was initially created for polo players - but it's just as useful for anyone wishing to ride holding the reins in a single hand.
You'll find a couple of different techniques and ways to easily adjust them. Use the method you find most comfortable.
And if you have any question or thoughts, definitely leave a comment below the video...
Gavin: Both of these reins, by either clinching the tip of the fingers which would allow this rein to slide through your fingers, because there's now a gap - if you can see that gap between my fingers like that, I'm holding the rein there and there's a gap here. If I close that and I open here, then I let this rein free.
So, with that top rein lying side-by-side, this rein is between those two fingers, sorry, the top rein is there, it's the bottom rein there. That's lying between those two fingers, and that rein is free because there's a gap. Or I can close there and that rein is free.
Now for the top reins they lie side by side over the bottom reins. So, the bottom reins are being clenched in one knuckle here, and the other knuckle there. One in each so I can split - or split. Can you see that, split - or split. Okay?
The top reins lie also right and left next to each other with the thumb in the middle. Now if I roll my thumb to the one side and I hold tight on both the bottom reins, only that rein would be free.
If I put it in the middle, they all tight and I can't pull any of them. If I just roll my thumb to one side, now that rein is free. If I roll my thumb this side and split my bottom fingers there and clinch with the bottom knuckle here, both these reins are free to run, okay. And if I roll my thumb this way and I clinch there, in this tip, then both these reins are free to run through my hands there.
(01:34) So if you're riding with two reins it's still possible to - what I do always is I tend to anchor the left rein, so that neither of these reins can move, and this rein I can, with that anchor, hold both reins with this little finger, extend thumb and forefinger, and pull back - and now take a grip again here, and extend again, so that you can have in effect - shorten the one side. Now you can let that slide again.
So, if you're going to turn to the right, you take this - holding here, and extend those fingers there, open there, pull it back through your hand, hold and extend again. Hold, pull back, extend again. Now your right rein is much shorter and that now - you would use a neck rein there, but keep the horse's head on the inside, where you want it. If it's too much, just allow them to slide a little bit and then clench again. So, you always have control of every rein like that, okay.
(02:35) Now also remember if you playing polo, when you ride on to the field you want your running reins, if you have them, to be slightly shorter than these reins. So, when you first take - when you first get the horse, let the reins slide through your hand like this until they all at the same tension. Then hold behind and slide your hand up and get your reins organized, as you want them in your hand, in your knuckles, okay.
Now, the first time you stop the horse, hold the top two reins, which is you're running rein, and let the bottom 2 slide half an inch and then take hold of them. Now when you pull the running rein works first, and then they'll all work together. So that is with that grip.
(03:18) The other group that you can use is to make the running rein, if you're using it, slightly shorter. Join your two reins together like that. On both sides so that you're running rein is slightly shorter than the other reins. So it works first.
Now if you've joined them like that take these two fingers, and put them through here. And this little finger clamping here holds those fingers. Have them down in the end of your fingers not on the top. There is a - it's a very tough pull because you can't use finger grip.
Here between those two, you can now pull up like that, and if you clenching - here like that, you've got a finger pull there that's much lighter with the horse. And here between thumb and forefinger, also at the end, you've got those two reins, so in effect you're clamping with this finger to hold those reins, and you're clamping here to hold these reins.
Now if you want to shorten this rein, just take your fingers back like that, and hold with this little finger again. Now down, pull, down, pull, exactly in the same way and you've got that.
(04:23) When you want to turn the other way, let this rein slide through your fingers, keeping this one the same length. Now this rein is longer. If you want to shorten it up again, you can just do that.
Alternatively, what you can do is just take it there and pull it back through and you've got it. Because that slide is always easy if you find it easier to do that, with this grip it works perfectly. And that same grip works exactly the same if you're only using one rein when your schooling.
(04:50) The other way, the English style, is that you've got your reins with the outside reins on the outside, and the inside reins on the inside through every finger like that, and then coming out and being held between thumb and forefinger.
Now a better way of doing that, and it's Memo Gracida's way, is split the top two reins and the bottom two reins, and put your thumb between them like that. Now you still know which rein is which rein to pull and tighten.
So even if you're holding English style, as long as you split your reins like that, this top one is left - the top on his left. If you do that with your hands there then, you've got your right reins, and you've got top and you've got bottom.
So that will really organize your reins on the horse a lot easier, and you can help with the right hand just to touch them through your hand if you want them like that.
(05:42) Remember that even with a mallet, if you're holding the mallet, just stop filming for a second. Even with a mallet in your hand they're two different ways you can do this:
Either you do that and you can use these fingers of your hand... Or you can let the mallet rest on your forefinger here and open here, and use your back fingers to help you, which ever style you holding, okay. So, like that you can still do the same thing here.
(06:10) And alternatively, also - if you need to use the whip, don't whip the horse holding the reins, because all you're doing is judging the mouth at the same time as you're hitting the horse. So, you're slowing the horse up and you're hitting it, and it doesn't make any sense to the horse.
So much better way around that - you see now that rein was looser, I'm letting them all slide back, come up and get him the right length again and slide back to where I want them.
If I've got that, if I split my fingers and hold between thumb and forefinger here, and let these reins drop away I can split my fingers here, go through and hold now between thumb and forefinger, and this little rein I can use my whip and come back here, and I haven't lost the place on the reins. And I haven't lost the grip on the mallet either.
So split the two fingers through here, hold with your thumb and forefinger here, use the whip, come back and do that, and you don't lose the grip, and you - it's very, very quick and very simple to do.