How NOT to pull on the reins – active vs passive resistance

A MUST READ …Excellent article published by Aspire Equestrian about how to stop pulling and interfering with your horse’s mouth while riding transitions.

Official Blog by Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy

The “how can I stop pulling on my horse’s mouth in transitions” question comes up very often when I am out and about teaching so today’s post will form a little chat on exactly that 🙂 

First, let’s look at an important muscle we all have but not all use when it comes to “using the reins”: the lattisumus dorsi (shown below in red), otherwise known as “lats” :

Latissimus dorsi.PNG
Latissimus dorsi” by User:Mikael Häggström – Image:Gray409.png. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Why NOT to pull?

Before we come back to the muscle shown above, let’s look beyond some obvious answers here. Yes, first of all we want to stop pulling as it’s simply painful on the horse’s mouth but there are other aspects too. If you use the reins to pull (act directly backwards on the reins with prolonged pulley pressure) you are very…

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