Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Rein Arrangements

Driving Thursday

Milton has graduated to the snaffle rein.

Driving bits come with several places to attach the reins. The gentlest is on the top ring. The farther down the shank > the more leverage > the stronger the bit. Last year, Bliss alternated between the snaffle ring and the first slot, depending on circumstance.

[New Equipment: Bit & Pieces]

When we first hitched Milton, Coach Courtney wanted stopping power. The reins went in the first slot. Once Milton proved to be a good guy (as much of a guarantee as one ever has with horses), Greg switched to the snaffle. Happy horse.

It’s a trade-off. Annoy the horse, but be able to stop him once he gets annoyed. Or have less brakes, but the less chance of needing said brakes.

Milton has made it clear that he does not wish to return to the higher leverage. Therefore, I too have graduated to the snaffle rein.

(A while back I said that Milton does not care what is in his mouth [With Great Bit Comes Great Responsibility]. I might have been wrong. Or this may still be true. Or it might have been true then and wrong now. All we can say is that with Greg driving, Milton prefers the snaffle. Since Greg long-lines him before I ride, I inherit the same bit configuration. If horses were easy, they wouldn’t take a lifetime to learn.)

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Comments on: "Rein Arrangements" (2)

  1. Driving seems so complicated…

  2. … it is at first. Lots of straps that all look the same. I’m slowly getting the hang of hitching. Driving itself is simple. It’s like riding from 5′ farther back.

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