Another thought re outside rein…

The other day I commented on the lack of understanding about opening and closing the rein. I have found many riders laying the outside rein against the horse's neck and being surprised when the horse moves in. Here in this pic, the rein is used intentionally against the horse's neck to prepare for a small circle prior to riding the canter pirouette It's as important an aid as the effect of the outside leg basically underlining the same principle - moving the horse ever inward.

What worries me is when people are trying to stay 'out to the track' either on a 20 m. circle or just to ride down the long side and then - perversely - they take this action with the outside rein. The horse is then blamed for moving off the track or 'falling in'... when actually, that is what the rider has asked. The best way of teaching students who have difficulty with these ideas is to ask them to imagine riding down a corridor.

If the corridor closes in, they will be forced away from the normal track... if the corridor provides guidelines but stays open and straight ... the horse can then pass sweetly forward and down that route. It is all very simple really. The most important thing is never to change the bend if you want to stay 'out' to the track. The outside rein stays open, but it must not change the inside flexion. SL


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