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[RC] question from a flatlander about rein contact on hills and in a snaffle - sherman

The western horse is ridden with a loose rein, otherwise it’s not considered a “pleasure” to ride (:>) From what I’ve seen of endurance riders, those with horses that “can” be ridden with a loose rein are ridden with a loose rein, regardless of the terrain or the type of bit or halter being used. When riding 50 or 100 miles, or even on a 15-25 mile conditioning ride, it’s much more comfortable for me and my horse to not need constant contact, elastic or not. I use a snaffle on one horse, a little “S” hack on a couple others, a rope halter on one. My goal with each is to be able to ride with a loose rein, just long/loose enough to be able to take it up quickly if necessary. I am blessed with horses who rarely spook, that can make a difference as well.



Grass Valley, CA


Jen wrote:


This is probably a dumb question, but I'm a flatlander so you'll have to forgive me. I am wondering how much rein contact is appropriate or necessary when riding in steep hills? I also want to know how much rein contact is correct in a snaffle.


…the Western riders I see who use a snaffle ride on a loose rein like I do.