Double Trouble

My normal lesson on Saturday was not as good as my lesson on Friday. I was on Small Fry again but this time I requested double reins, at the request of R. Double reins are no big deal. I’ve been riding in double reins my whole riding career. The only bits I owned until earlier this year were pelhams. Well let me tell you something. Apparently I’ve been riding in double reins wrong.


What I thought I was doing (upon closer inspection–SURPRISE–curb rein is on the index/middle fingers). I fail.

I don’t know how and I don’t know when but at some point some of my old trainer’s students were taught differently. I checked with a few of them and it’s a mixed bag. Some of them ride double reins the way I do (snaffle on the index and middle finger, curb on the ring finger) and some ride with them the way I was taught on Saturday (curb on the index and middle finger, snaffle on the ring finger).

My whole world is turned upside down right now. I understand the mechanics of how I used to hold them. I can’t even get my head around how they work with the new (and correct!) way. My brain hurt the whole lesson. I couldn’t always focus on what I was doing because I never knew what rein I was holding in my hand. Every time I tried to pick up my snaffle I was picking up my curb. I felt awful for poor Small Fry.


Now here’s a method I could get behind! Seriously, I’m so sad.

Which might explain why half way through the lesson she told me to go pound pavement and we had a disagreement on what I wanted her to do versus what she felt like doing. The reality is more likely that when I dismounted to allow the barn kids to launch a rocket she thought we were done for the day, so when I got back on she was upset that her work wasn’t over. Either way, I think my next lesson is going to be more of me muddling through double reins until it finally clicks.


Why is the curb rein up top? I’m so confused about how this method work for curb release.

Regardless I still got compliments and was told good-naturedly by R that I was showing off my skills. Which does wonders for my ego but also, I cannot take a compliment from R without short circuiting because ‘senpai noticed me’. R knows my old trainer mostly by reputation but my old trainer has seen R ride/train and spoke very highly about R all the time. It’s like a double whammy to get a compliment from a trainer that your trainer admires.

2 thoughts on “Double Trouble

  1. They way you describe you were taught is how I was taught. As a H/Jer rider I think this is still correct for it because we ride in a single bridle with double reins versus a double bridle with double reins. Granted i know nothing of double bridles, so its just a postulation.


    • Yeah, I ride single bridle/double reins as well. Maybe that’s why I’m so confused? But I’ve never ridden in a double bridle with any of my trainers so maybe I’m some weird Frankenstein classical rider. :<


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