Just a short concept today. Reins as indicators.
To me reins are just indicators, they indicate your intensions to the horse. They don't actually make the horse do something, that is what your seat and legs are for. Lots of riders use the reins to pull their horses around; into a direction, into a shape like head carriage, into a stop. This is not very efficient or pretty. It gives opportunity for a lot of resistance in the horse. The more you pull, the more the horse pulls back. Do you think you can pull a 500kg animal around? I don't think so.
I rather see the reins as a tool to ask a question or a guiding tool. What makes the horse answer the question or follow the guidance is willingness to work together. Willingness to work together is created by giving the horse responsibilities. Not trying to do everything for him, but rather let him figure out what you want from him (teaching him to move away from pressure). This way he can move free and do things himself without the rider being in the way.
As we would say in the reining; a horse should be willingly guided.
My next post will explain the difference between a hold and a pull.