As we know from my last blog post an open or opening rein can be really useful because it is fairly clear to the horse what you are asking them.
Which is why it’s great for using with young and green horses. When using two opening reins it can help straighten the young inexperienced horse as well.
If you haven’t read the last blog post here it is: Open Rein Meaning: What Is An Opening Rein & How Do You Do It?
Go read that post real quick, and come back. It is a short read.
For the open rein to be effective you need to be doing it correctly and there are two common faults or problems that riders encounter when using an opening rein.
In this post I’ll go over what the two problems are. Then you can evaluate your own riding and decide whether you think you may have one of these problems when you use the open rein.
The 2 Common Problems When Using An Opening Rein
- The rider is pulling the horse around which is against classic riding principles and can cause several problems.
- The rider’s arm moves forward, losing contact with the horse’s mouth hence losing much of the effect that the rider is trying to get with the open rein.
So now let’s go a little deeper into these two problems to see why they really are a problem.
The Consequences Of These Opening Rein Faults
Problem 1: Pulling The Horse Around
Starting with the first problem again about pulling the horse around a turn.
First off this causes a shift of the inside seat bone to go backwards and sometimes the inside leg to slide forward.
This is incorrect, you want your inside seat bone to go forwards around the turn. And for your inside leg to stay under you by the girth. This is what happens to your riding position when you have this fault.
But what happens to the horse?
Often yes the horse will bend his neck but will usually fall out through the outside shoulder which you don’t want.
The only way to stop the horse from falling out through the outside shoulder is by compensating and applying your sideways blocking aids which would be your outside leg and outside rein.
This is awkward and uncomfortable way of turning your horse.
Problem 2: Losing the Contact
Now on to the second problem of your arm coming forward and losing the contact.
This usually comes from wanting to be gentle to the horse and you are attempting to indicate to the horse that you want to turn but also keep the forward movement.
This is pretty much harmless just ineffective and useless.
The horse might turn a little bit but you will have to use more of your seat, leg and outside rein aids to compensate and to communicate to the horse to make the turn or circle.
Now that you know the two common problems or faults associated with using the open rein, which problem do you face more?
Or have you not had any issues with using the opening rein?
If you have one of these two problems and they are something you have been dealing with, then stay tuned for the next blog post.
Because I’ll be going over how to handle these two riding faults. So you can ride with the open rein correctly and become a more effective rider.