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Open Rein Meaning: What Is An Opening Rein & How Do You Do It?

In this article...

Are you leveraging the open rein technique optimally while horseback riding? We breakdown the steps to correctly use an open rein and how it can make your horse turn, bend or straighten out more effectively. Equip yourself with this invaluable knowledge today.

When horseback riding one off the ways you communicate with the horse is with your hands through the reins. There are several different ways to use the reins. Today we are going over the open rein.

What Is An Open Rein

An open rein is one way to use the reins when riding a horse.

Using an open rein or opening rein, has also been known as an inviting rein, is what we call a type of rein aid.

There are different rein aids you can use when riding horses. An open rein is only one of your options.

Why An Opening Rein Is Useful

Using an open rein is very useful and usually not used enough by riders. An open rein is more commonly used in English riding oppose to Western riding.

It’s good for inviting or guiding the horse to turn on a circle or bend, as well as straighten out a horse jumping a line of fences or signaling to the horse on a jump course of an approaching tight turn.

An open rein is particularly good when working with young inexperienced or green horses.

Because this type of rein aid seems to be clearer than just squeezing on the reins and with two opening reins it helps to keep the green horse moving straight.

How To Use An Open Rein While Riding

To use an open rein you simply bring your inside hand in towards the middle of your turn, while not pulling back or dropping the contact.

In other words you turn your hand away from your horse neck in the direction you want your horse to turn or bend.

It helps to think of the center point of the circle or your turn and bring your hand toward that center point.

In The Next Blog Post

In the next blog post we will go over two common problems people encounter when they use an open rein while riding.

Cheers, Kacey

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Disclaimer Notice: Please be aware that horseback riding and related equestrian activities carry inherent risks. The advice and experiences shared on this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional training or advice. Ensure your safety and that of your horse by wearing appropriate gear, practicing safe horse handling, and consulting with certified equestrian professionals. Remember, each horse is unique, and techniques may vary accordingly. Always prioritize safety, respect, and patience in your equestrian endeavors.

Kacey Cleary Administrator
Kacey has been an equestrian since 1998. She was a working student at several eventing and dressage barns. She has owned horses, leased horses, and trained horses. Kacey received an A.S. in Equine Industries from UMass Amherst, where she rode on the dressage team. She was certified with the ARIA and is licensed to teach riding in MA. She has been a barn manager and has run her own horse farm.
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