Holding the Reins Correctly
Before you ride, you've got to know how to hold the reins. The first three
fingers of each hand (starting with the index finger, not the thumb) go over
the reins, and the reins come our between the third and fourth (or little)
finger. Later in the book, you'll learn more about how to use your hands,
but for now just gently close your fingers around the reins. Don't use a
death grip. Your hands should be relaxed.
Keep both thumbs up, pressing against the reins and your forefingers. The
fingernails on each hand should face each other, about four inches apart.
Hold your hands about two inches above the horse's withers (the ridge
between the shoulder bones).
Avoid slack reins, but don't hold them so tightly that they pull back on the
horse. Keep steady contact between your hands and the horse's mouth;
through the reins, the horse's mouth should feel elastic.
To hold the reins correctly, position your first three fingers over the
reins and the fourth under it.
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