Riding to a Contact

It turns out I’ve done a few blog posts exploring the concept of “a contact”. So I won’t repeat myself as I’ve very little to add to the one below. That is, if WordPress’s new app will actually work (unlike Facebook’s business app) …

One analogy I heard recently was that the right hold on the reins is akin to a good handshake. Firm, without breaking your daughter’s new boyfriend’s fingers, without it being limp. I’ve always thought of it as the way you’d hold a child’s hand down the street; not a vice like grip, but one which is secure and comforting so they feel safe.

The Rubber Curry Comb

I always think that teaching a learning about a “contact” is one of the hardest concepts within equitation.

To begin, the word “contact” appears on level three of the German Scales of Training. It is defined by “the soft, steady connection between the rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth”.

I introduce this idea, or at least make sure they are aware of it, to all my clients. With beginners I encourage a long rein until they have more stable hands so they are more forgiving on the horse’s mouth, and then we slowly shorten the reins so that we have what resembles a straight line from their elbow, through the hand, to the bit, but the riders are always aware that there should be a line of communication between elbow and mouth. With novice riders, I try to get them to feel that they are in a more direct communication…

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