Keeping The Hand Closed Around The Reins

Killing you with all the endless indoor schooling pictures.

I know.

Still, here we go.

Years ago, I didn’t have the habit of opening the hand too much.  Or if I did I had no idea of doing it.  Now, it’s become a problem, and I’d like to train it away.

training to ride better

What happens is that once we’re in a really nice, soft contact, I open more, to give or something, then she’ll take advantage and become strong, say down the longside or diagonal.

Then we get strung out, half halts are not going through because now the reins are too long.  And Valiosa will lose straightness and impulsion with inconsistent contact like that right away.  Super frustrating to know the hand must stay closed, but it still opens!

horse cantering with loose open neck
Madam Milky Way working hard. 

Every time I let the contact slip like that, we lose valuable time in getting back to the “right spot”.

First step to get it right is to really believe she can go into the closed hand and stay there.  That she’s actually capable of going forward in THAT contact.

horse in canter at the downstride

Makes sense?  Because earlier, she just wasn’t capable to.

So.  I’ll be working on that in the sandbox.  Soft, closed hand.  Not an oxymoron.

gray horse doing dressage in covered arenaWhen it works, she’s awesome!

After this week we’ll be mostly on our own again.  (Oh NO!!)  Many thanks to Geñay who works with us and has been so helpful!  It’s been a blast, couldn’t have done this without you!

horse portrait

10 thoughts on “Keeping The Hand Closed Around The Reins

  1. If you get some rubber lined (leather on the outside rubber on the inside) reins you will feel when they start to slip and react faster. You could get plain old rubber reins instead but for me at least they’re really bulky. In either case the rubber helps you get a better grip on them without killing your hands. I dislike them myself but they do help solve the issue. When you’ve got yourself trained you can stash them in your pile of no longer useful tack and set up a table at the next tack show 😁


    1. Already have some!!! Should take a dig into my garage tack-tubs… I put them away because I missed the stoppers on the Webber reins. The rubber lined ones I have are pretty slim. Should give them a try again!!


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