Redefining the Rein with Josh Nichol

Whichever style of rider you are, you have probably spent hours perfecting the way you hold your reins and wondered how to improve the contact between you and your horse. If you ride Western, you've learned to aim for a long, loose rein. The goal is to train your horse to carry himself in a collected frame at all gaits without any direct rein contact. This makes sense because in the end, a working ranch horse has its own job to do while the rider takes care of his own set of tasks. On the other hand, if you ride English the opposite is true. It's the ability to develop an elastic feel while maintaining a straight line from your elbow to the bit that you're after. English-style riding relies considerably more on contact between a rider's hands and the bit. The argument for contact is that whether jumping or…

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