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VaqueroToro
Oct. 17, 2012, 11:33 AM
I'm hoping someone here can help me settle a friendly argument I'm having with someone. :)

Assuming the use of split reins, not romal reins, in a curb bit for Western Pleasure classes....
Under 443 ("Western Equipment") in the 2012 AQHA rule book, it states:

(d) Except for hackamore/snaffle bit classes or junior horses shown with hackamore/snaffle bit, only one hand may be used on the reins, and the hand must not be changed. The hand is to be around the reins; index finger only between split reins is permitted. In trail, it is permissible to change hands to work an obstacle. Violation of this rule is an automatic disqualification.

The above doesn't directly specify the HAND nor the STYLE the reins have to be held, just that you can't put more than your index finger through them....or does it?

Even under the Western Pleasure section (465(B)), it doesn't state preference other than "(d)...The rider's hands should be carried near the pommel and not further than four inches out on either side of the saddle horn. Rider's hands must be steady with very limited movement."

My friend's stance is that the reins have to be held in the left hand, with index finger between the reins and a closed fist around the rest, palm down over the horse's neck otherwise it's against rules.

I'm fine with all of that except for the palm down part -- you've just locked your elbow and significantly reduced your ability to communicate -- ie, thumb should always be pointing up. It could also be done right handed without problem however it's less traditional. I also think holding the reins California style (reins come up through the hand from the bottom gripping them like you do with romals but the remainder is draped on the same side as the hand holding them) is 100% permitted as long as you don't put any fingers between the reins.

Are we both right/wrong/or otherwise confused? :D Anyone know if this has been clarified somewhere else as "acceptable use" in AQHA or the like shows?

Donkaloosa
Oct. 17, 2012, 12:43 PM
The only reins I've ever seen held thumbs up are romal reins. Palms-down or sort of sideways at a 45 deg. angle with split reins. Palms-down can look very puppy-dog paws. Of course, it's hard to think about it when I don't have reins in my hand and I'm sitting at my desk, but I'm pretty sure my hand is at about a 45 deg angle, split reins coming out more or less to the right and then flipping down the side of the horse... Oh, pooh, this sounds too confusing to make any sense!

rhinestone_cowgirl
Oct. 17, 2012, 12:49 PM
http://www.rainbowag.com/eraldi_38.html

This explains it pretty well (and there are pictures!)

Tee
Oct. 17, 2012, 02:15 PM
I have gotten comments (just friendly) because I ride right handed. What I've been told is while there is no specific rule stating which hand you should ride with, judges will have their preference and just like the the look more of the left-handed rider.

On the plus side, a lot of people struggle with a left-handed gate. Not I. :-)

JustJet
Oct. 17, 2012, 02:53 PM
[QUOTE=Tee;6613913]I have gotten comments (just friendly) because I ride right handed. What I've been told is while there is no specific rule stating which hand you should ride with, judges will have their preference and just like the the look more of the left-handed rider.

Traditionally, if you are right handed you ride with your left hand. This leaves your dominate hand free to rope a steer, open a gate, grab your gun:lol: , etc. A judge is not going to ask you which hand dominate you are, so they probably figure you are a leftie.

potteryshop
Oct. 17, 2012, 04:33 PM
I am currently struggling with using my left hand rather than my dominant right hand. Am finding that I pick at the reins less with my left hand, but curl up my right hand and arm. I know, I need to relax. HA!

Tee
Oct. 17, 2012, 05:55 PM
I am currently struggling with using my left hand rather than my dominant right hand. Am finding that I pick at the reins less with my left hand, but curl up my right hand and arm. I know, I need to relax. HA!

I have that problem too with my free hand - it's just ready to jump in and help at a moment's notice, whether I've asked it to or not! LOL The romals will help a bunch in shows, give that hand something to do. :-)

saddleup
Oct. 17, 2012, 09:14 PM
I have been told it doesn't matter what hand you use. I show at Paint shows and see lots of people ride with their right hands.

sparkette
Oct. 17, 2012, 10:48 PM
I ride with my pointer finger in between the split reins with a fist that's even with my right hand (hard to explain).

For the gate in trail class, I switch from my right to left back to my right hand.

VaqueroToro
Oct. 17, 2012, 10:52 PM
I am currently struggling with using my left hand rather than my dominant right hand. Am finding that I pick at the reins less with my left hand, but curl up my right hand and arm. I know, I need to relax. HA!

Maybe it's because I started with two hands when I learned to ride, but I find riding with one hand soooo difficult. I feel off in the saddle since one hand is up and forward a little across my body with the reins and the other is left to its own devices. Even if I keep my free hand on my "belt buckle" to even my shoulders up, it still feels weird. My horse isn't quite 100% on his leg pressures yet so that might be why I feel I have infinitely more control over him with two hands on the reins.

Thanks for the answers guys. I'm curious as to why the California hold isn't accepted -- figures, that's the one I've had the most success with.

mvp
Oct. 18, 2012, 01:35 PM
http://www.rainbowag.com/eraldi_38.html

This explains it pretty well (and there are pictures!)

Thanks very much for the link.

It's helpful and I hate the answer. One-handed reins there the bit/horse end comes in to my hand by the thumb feels.so.wrong. I know I could change, but I don't want to reteach myself yet another feel.

katarine
Oct. 19, 2012, 10:25 AM
Riding with split reins no one (currently showing successfully in AQHA) is using a California hold, as you called it. You'd look like a rank greenbean backyard yahoo ;) If you are going to show WP...or any QH class with split reins, judged...The reins are held with them coming from the bit and down through your fingers, with only your index finger between them (if any). The only time you would ever see a California hold would be riding with romal reins, period, not for Western Pleasure.

The angle and location of your rein hand, whether palm down on the crest or floating up closer to the horn is really up to you. The idea with the hand touching the crest is that you never have to touch the horse's face, he's so spur/body/leg broke that the reins are just accessories. Me, I think it looks stupid and ineffective and encourages the rider to twist their body and can't be comfortable. Having your rein hand just ahead of/above the horn looks and feels more 'real', and then draping your free hand behind your thigh feels more balanced. You can also do the 'equitation hand' with the free one, holding it close and up behind the horn.

This photo is what I'm talk about:
http://redhotimpulse.com/redhotimpulse.htm

SuckerForHorses
Oct. 19, 2012, 10:35 AM
Equitation: hand up by the horn like Katarine linked a picture to above.

Pleasure: arm/hand casually hanging by your side/behind your thigh.

I do not do a "thumbs up" riding western, I feel that it twists the reins. I ride right handed. So, I have my index finger between the split reins, and keep my hand at the 45 degree angle.

Thumb up feels like I'm torqueing the left rein. Palm down feels like I'm twisting my wrist in a very uncomfortable position.

katarine
Oct. 19, 2012, 12:37 PM
here's the preferred way to manage your free hand...

http://redhotimpulse.com/horse.asp?Id=316

http://redhotimpulse.com/horse.asp?Id=285

And no, I'm not affiliated with RHI. I just really like his owner and her philosophy about her horses. She's a good egg and I like those horses.

sahqueen
Oct. 19, 2012, 01:57 PM
here's the preferred way to manage your free hand...

http://redhotimpulse.com/horse.asp?Id=316

http://redhotimpulse.com/horse.asp?Id=285

And no, I'm not affiliated with RHI. I just really like his owner and her philosophy about her horses. She's a good egg and I like those horses.


That's fine for pleasure, but not how you would hold your free hand for horsemanship:

http://www.photostockplus.com/home.php?user_id=52563&tmpl=159&event=1146131&action=viewphoto&photo_id=69202776&album_id=1159708&pcount=44

http://www.photostockplus.com/home.php?user_id=52563&tmpl=159&event=1146131&action=viewphoto&photo_id=69202788&album_id=1159708&pcount=44


Other working events (trail, western riding) are a mix of both styles...

katarine
Oct. 19, 2012, 02:10 PM
this thread is about western pleasure-not horsemanship :)

sahqueen
Oct. 19, 2012, 02:30 PM
Sorry...lost track of how this thread started out!

VaqueroToro
Oct. 19, 2012, 02:33 PM
Sorry...lost track of how this thread started out!

Sidebars are fine; I'm all for an education. :D

The link to the photos require a log in though. :(

sahqueen
Oct. 19, 2012, 02:44 PM
It's worth logging in to see the Congress photos!

VaqueroToro
Oct. 19, 2012, 04:31 PM
It's worth logging in to see the Congress photos!

A hold like that makes the rider look a bit more square.