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Article from

The 4 common mistakes riders make  by certified trainer Sheryl Lynde

When people come for a lesson or an evaluation, there are common mistakes shared by most riders. Let’s talk about the Top Four and the remedy for each.

1. Lack of Rein Management
Reins being either too loose or too tight pose risks to a rider’s safety. When the reins are too loose, the rider’s hands are out of position, as they rise to their chest or chin in order to make contact with the bit. To make up for a lag in contact and response, the rider develops fast hands and jerks to get the response they are looking for.

Having the reins too tight causes the horse to brace against the rider’s hands. Since the horse learns from release and not pressure, there are limited training opportunities. The horse becomes micromanaged, meaning there is constant contact. Therefore, the horse is given no release for the correct response, and the rider balances on the horse’s mouth instead of their seat and is easily out of control.


Be aware of your rein length as you ride. When asking for a specific task, shorten your reins so that you feel contact when your hands are in front of the pommel. The small of your back should be soft and you should have a bend in your elbows. As soon as you get the correct response, release your reins by lengthening them again. If your horse immediately walks off or speeds up once you have released,, shorten your reins again and repeat as often as necessary for your horse to understand what you are teaching. You should be lengthening and shortening frequently throughout your ride. Relax your grip, slow your hands down and loosen your reins when your horse has given the appropriate response– your horse will appreciate it.


2. Leaning Forward ...

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