Page:Equitation.djvu/129

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exactly the same height, and never more than three inches apart. To make an effect to either side, the hand is carried three inches horizontally, without any tilting of the hand upward or downward.

The reins of the bridle, whether held in one hand or both, are pressed by the fingers only just hard enough to prevent slipping. If the pressure is too strong, the tension will be communicated to the arms, and from them to the whole upper portion of the body. At first sight, nothing seems easier. But in practice, the reins will slip, and unequally. The result is that, when the rider has occasion to draw on the reins, the one which at the moment happens to be shortest, has the most effect.

It becomes necessary, therefore, from time to time, to readjust the reins in the hand.

Suppose that all four reins are held in the left hand. To adjust, let us say, the curb reins, which are those without the buckle, the rider, with his right hand behind the left, takes the free ends with his thumb and first finger, and carries the right hand upward, while at the same instant he relaxes the grip of the left hand on these two. Meanwhile the left hand is kept precisely in line with the horse's neck. As soon as the rider feels with the right hand the equal contact against the mouth, he closes once more the fingers of the left hand and lets go with the right. For the snafHe reins, those with the buckle, the process is exactly the same.

With the reins held in both hands, to adjust