If learning how to drive a car starts with holding the steering wheel, learning how to ride a horse starts with holding the reins. When you come to enjoy a trail ride at our Pigeon Forge horseback riding stables, one of the very first things you’ll learn is how to properly hold your horse’s reins. Read on to get some great rein holding tips before you visit us at Five Oaks!
(See Related: The Secret to Mounting and Dismounting a Horse)
Why are reins important?
Much like the steering wheel in a car, the reins are how you “drive” your horse. Riders give directions to their horses by using the reigns. These cues are known as “rein aids”. Skilled horseback riders can use the reins to tell their horse when to start, when to stop, when to back up, and which direction to turn. The key to giving effective rein aids starts with holding the reign correctly!
What is the proper way to hold the reins?
Once you’ve mounted your horse and are comfortably sitting in the saddle, take a rein in each hand. Make sure the right rein and is in your right hand and the left rein is in your left hand. You don’t want crisscrossed reins!
Your hands should be balled into fists. The reins should come through between your baby finger and ring finger and out from under your thumb.
Your thumb is the most important digit when giving rein aids. Be sure that your thumb is pushing down firmly on the rein, as if you were pressing down on a button on a video game controller. Also, keep your thumbs pointed up, like you’re holding two icecream cones in front of your saddle.
Try to hold the reins about 4 or 6 inches apart from each other. You don’t want the gap between the reins to be larger than the width of the horse’s neck.
Don’t worry if all of these directions sound confusing at first! Our experienced guides will make sure that you’re a pro at holding the horse’s reins before you start your trail ride.
Make a Reservation
Now is the perfect time to start planning your next Pigeon Forge horseback riding adventure! Our incredible trail rides will take you through a gorgeous 70 acre nature park. You’ll see the famous Mount LeConte, scenic mountain streams, and plenty of wildlife. Visit our Reservations page to schedule your horseback riding trip today or give us a call at (888) 353-4926!