The correct way to hold the double reins

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “The correct way to hold the double reins?”

It connects to the snaffle, it’s the big one normally because us riders we’re not that smart, are we? No we’d like to have different size reins for the different bits that they attach to. We know by feel we don’t even have to look which rein we have. Even if I close my eyes and I picked up my reins, I can tell that this one is my snaffle rein.

And that’s literally all you do. Here’s the rein, here’s your middle finger and your pointer finger. You literally just hook it on like a curb and close, and now I have the two rein. I have my snaffle as normal when I want to talk to them.

 

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

​Hey dressage superstars! Happy new year. We’ve started 2020. 2020, it’s not just a fresh, shiny new year, which I always love, but it is also a shiny new decade. Bring it on. I know someone was saying … No, I don’t know. It was something to do with maths and years and apparently we’ve already started, but it confuse me. I’m just going with, it’s 2020 and it’s a new decade. Yay, I really hope you achieve your riding goals for 2020. I really hope this is your year and it’s not about hoping, it’s not about wishing and it’s not about wanting. You’ve got to ensure you have it, you’ve got to take action, you’ve got to do things differently to how you did them in 2019 to get a different result. Make sure you remember that and as you know, I’m obsessed with goal setting so check out the link in the bio if you want to check some more out how to make your 2020 perfect.

All right, today I thought we would do a video on how to … What am I doing? How to hold the double reins. People may or may not be ready for a double bridle and if you do, if you’re going to ride in a double bridle for the very first time, there’s a lot to think about. Firstly, when I first learned and when I am teaching someone, I go, okay just forget these two, just pick up your normal one as you would normally. This rein is still your snaffle rein. It connects to the snaffle, it’s the big one normally because us riders we’re not that smart, are we? No we’d like to have different size reins for the different bits that they attach to. We know by feel we don’t even have to look which rein we have. Even if I close my eyes and I picked up my reins, I can tell that this one is my snaffle rein.

Pick up your snaffle rein and just ride the horse as you would on a snaffle and everything’s the same. The rein is still going through my pinky and my ring finger on both sides, pinky and ring finger as it normally does on a snaffle. Now then I want you to do is pick, get your middle finger and your pointer finger and maybe I’ll come around to the camera and do it. We’ll get back to the training in a second. I just wanted to remind you if you’re loving this video and make sure to subscribe and leave me a comment on how this video has helped and your biggest learning so far. Oh, and it doesn’t help if I have a whip. Okay, whoops good boy. Okay, so you’ve got the normal snaffle between your ring and your pinky finger. What I want you to do is grab your middle finger and your pointer finger. Shannon’s Oh, all right, here middle finger and your pointer finger and grab the other rein.

Okay. And that’s literally all you do. Here’s the rein, here’s your middle finger and your pointer finger. You literally just hook it on like a curb and close, and now I have the two rein. I have my snaffle as normal when I want to talk to them… Are you zooming in Shannon, you’re getting this. When I’m talking to my horse and talking to him with the snaffle, see I’m doing that still with my ring finger and my pinky like in between there I can still talk, I can still vibrate, I can still talk to him. Now this rein when you’re learning, I would literally probably keep the curb that long because you’re not ready to use the curb yet and you don’t want to inadvertently use it. Now as I have done lesson after lesson on this, just so you know the curb rein is a little bit magical and it tends to shorten all on its own nothing to do with you. It might have a little to do with you.

But when I was learning, I would swear from here to high heaven that I was not shortening my curb, but as rode it would end up like this. This is not good you don’t want to ride on the curb and have you snaffled loose. Really make sure at the start I put a big old loop in it because it will tend to, you’ll notice it by the time it’s about here and you go, “Oh, but there was meant to be a big loop in it,” it’s all right that’s, and you’ll put a nice big loop in it again and off you go again. Ride like that for a month or so until you notice you can’t progress riding with a double until you go, Oh my God, this loop, once I create this loop, it stays like that, the whole ride.

When you’re up to that level then you can actually shorten it. But I always ride very loose. Well, “hi do you know we’re doing a video buddy thanks.” Then when I’m riding with it, I still have it loose and I will have to move my fingers a certain way. You see how I have to kind of always bend them down if I want to use the curb. Depending if I have a horse that I’m like, I know I’m going to have to use the curb, I might shorten it a bit more so I can have more contact. But genuinely on these kinds of horses I don’t ride with the curb, I would just have to ride with a double so I put them in the double but I don’t use the curb. Occasionally if they’re very strong I’ll enact it. But it’s just a tool that help you back up your rein contact.

There’s other uses for the curb. You can bring the horses head down with the curb, you can even in a particular way, I’ve never learned it because I’ve never needed it. But you can do it something like that. And then that has the opposite action and brings the horse’s head up but let’s not confuse the issue. If you are starting to ride in a double bridle, pick up your snaffle. Step one, pick up your snaffle as normal… Dude, we’re doing photo i think, ring finger and pinky, then grab your double, get your middle finger and your pointer and grab your curb… It’s all right we’re not going yet. And put a big old loop in it, close it over. So now your reins are tight you’re not going to get them, they’re not going to go through your fingers, they’re not going to shorten up or get longer by themselves. And ride that down until you can keep the loop.

And then go and get coaching and find out why you would need the curb for your specific horse, when you would use the curb, how you would use the curb and all those kinds of things. But if you’re a showy or you just need to be in the double but without using it, that’s my stiff. Have fun, happy year. Trust that helps remember if you guys need any help with steps, procedures, strategies, recipes, how do you do a? How do you do b? How do you do c? I’ve got a free training class that tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.

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