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How do you hold double reins?

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  • How do you hold double reins?

    Back in the day, when I learned to ride, I learned to ride with double reins on a pelham. The reins, however, unlike what I see today, were not crossed. Somewhere I've read George Morris discuss that that was a legit way to hold them. I know dressage riders cross them, but that was not the way I was taught growing up on hunters.

    How do you do it?

  • #2
    I was taught to cross them. But really I let the horse dictate, if I feel like I need more curb action I will ride with them uncrossed. I use the same for draw reins as well.
    Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.

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    • #3
      When I grew up you always crossed the reins with the snaffle on outside of the picky finger. THis was traditional way of riding with a pelham. I was riding with one in the 70's and won an equitation class by correctly "addressing the reins" with a pelham on my horse
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      • #4
        I use a pelham on my horse and was taught to ride with the snaffle and curb reins crossed, (curb to inside, snaffle to outside).

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        • #5
          Snaffle outside pinky, curb between pinky and next finger. (Cross???)

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          • #6
            I just did a clinic with Joe Fargis on Dec. 1 and was riding in a pelham. I rode my pony in a pelham (in the 70's) and have always held them the same way - snaffle rein on the outside of the pinky and curb between pinky and ring finger. Joe had me move them "up" one digit so that the snaffle rein was between ring and pinky fingers and curb between middle and ring fingers. His reasoning was, if the snaffle rein is all the way out the outside your natural inclination is to make a "fist" and that you won't be soft. Moving them up keeps you from making a fist with your fingers. And he was adamant that the curb rein be much looser than the snaffle - he likened the curb to your "emergency brake" and said you only use it if you need it. He hates to see a "fist full" of reins and anytime my curb got the slightest bit taut, he would fuss at me. I was completely familiar with that concept so that wasn't hard to accomplish and actually moving the reins up was not at all awkward.
            friend of bar.ka

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            • #7
              If you want the best answer post the question on the Dressage board....

              I always ride w/ the curb between Pinky and ring with snaffle ie Bridoon between ring and middle finger. Curb always looser on bottom. The Ring finger is the dividing finger....

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              • #8
                pinky finger on the outside, snaffle between pinky and ring finger, pelham between ring and middle finger.
                "to each his own..."

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                • #9
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeCDDVYuKYM

                  First example of the video is how I usually hold them, I don't cross, I like the curb under my pinky.

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                  • #10
                    Alterhorse - that is a double bridle, not a pelham.
                    friend of bar.ka

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                    • #11
                      (The question is how to hold double reins, not pelham reins, but that is pretty much semantics--either bitting setup has one curb and one snaffle rein that you must decide how to hold.) The clinician in the video (Henk Van Bergan, NE, giving a USDF clinic) specifies that he prefers to use them crossed. It's an excellent video! Thanks for posting it!

                      Most conventionally: Snaffle rein on the bottom, curb on top and inside.

                      A 'full hand on the rein' with the rein outside the pinky is a 'vintage' technique at this point, akin to using stirrups 'home.'

                      I sometimes will separate the snaffle and curb by two fingers distance (curb under my index finger), which I find gives me more discretion to use them separately, but in most cases will use them as described in the Joe Fargis example, above.

                      So many avoid teaching how to use double reins from an early stage, but it's really not that hard. I much prefer to see a correctly used pelham bit than an ineffective kimberwicke, for instance.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bella'sMom View Post
                        Alterhorse - that is a double bridle, not a pelham.
                        Doesn't matter if its a double or a pelham. Either way of holding the reins is correct. Its really a matter of preference.

                        The only question I would raise is w/ respect to equitation classes, is there some specific way judges are looking for? Being a DQ, I have no clue on that.
                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nightsong View Post
                          Snaffle outside pinky, curb between pinky and next finger. (Cross???)

                          This is how I was taught.
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                          • #14
                            I was taught (within the past year) to hold the snaffle rein outside of my pinky and the curb rein between my pinky and ring finger. I was in the same clinic as Bella's Mom, but Joe didn't tell me to hold them differently. He did tell me to keep the curb loose, though, like he told her.

                            I've ridden this way in pelhams and gags.
                            "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
                            ~George Morris

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Starda01 View Post
                              Back in the day, when I learned to ride, I learned to ride with double reins on a pelham. The reins, however, unlike what I see today, were not crossed. Somewhere I've read George Morris discuss that that was a legit way to hold them.
                              That's the way I was taught in the '80s (note, using a PELHAM, not a double bridle.) I've tried riding the 'dressage' way with the reins crossed and it just seems wrong.
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by jewll27 View Post
                                pinky finger on the outside, snaffle between pinky and ring finger, pelham between ring and middle finger.
                                This is how I was taught to ride with a pelham. Reins crossed.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I was taught that the snaffle rein is held normally, between the pinky and ring finger. The curb rein is up one and to the inside. The logic being that you should still ride primarily off the snaffle so you want the same feel.

                                  FWIW: I was also told by a former trainer (who judges eq) that there are several acceptable ways to hold depending on the horse, but this was the most common.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Bella'sMom View Post
                                    Joe had me move them "up" one digit so that the snaffle rein was between ring and pinky fingers and curb between middle and ring fingers. His reasoning was, if the snaffle rein is all the way out the outside your natural inclination is to make a "fist" and that you won't be soft. Moving them up keeps you from making a fist with your fingers. And he was adamant that the curb rein be much looser than the snaffle - he likened the curb to your "emergency brake" and said you only use it if you need it. He hates to see a "fist full" of reins and anytime my curb got the slightest bit taut, he would fuss at me. I was completely familiar with that concept so that wasn't hard to accomplish and actually moving the reins up was not at all awkward.
                                    This is how I was taught and how I use double reins

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      On day 2 in Saddleseat you are using two reins although they are a rein through a martingale as the "curb". I had two options, curb crossed inside and between ring and pinky or between ring and middle, depending on the horse. Snaffle under the pinky and outside. And I got lessons in addressing the reins as well.
                                      I had learned this back in the day too, same crossing effect.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Bella'sMom View Post
                                        I just did a clinic with Joe Fargis on Dec. 1 and was riding in a pelham. I rode my pony in a pelham (in the 70's) and have always held them the same way - snaffle rein on the outside of the pinky and curb between pinky and ring finger. Joe had me move them "up" one digit so that the snaffle rein was between ring and pinky fingers and curb between middle and ring fingers. His reasoning was, if the snaffle rein is all the way out the outside your natural inclination is to make a "fist" and that you won't be soft. Moving them up keeps you from making a fist with your fingers. And he was adamant that the curb rein be much looser than the snaffle - he likened the curb to your "emergency brake" and said you only use it if you need it. He hates to see a "fist full" of reins and anytime my curb got the slightest bit taut, he would fuss at me. I was completely familiar with that concept so that wasn't hard to accomplish and actually moving the reins up was not at all awkward.
                                        This is how my trainer has me holding my reins.... as you explain Joe Fargis adjusted your rein. With the curb rein to the under/inside.
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