Holding the snaffle reins.—When the horse is ridden in the snaffle bridle, the rider takes one rein in each hand—
the reins coming in on the underside of the little finger, and coming out over the second joint of the forefinger, on which the thumb firmly holds the rein; the other fingers closed on the reins, nails toward the body. * * * Hands about 6 inches apart, on a level with the elbows, backs straight up and down and outward.—United States Cavalry Drill Regulations, paragraph 195.
With the double snaffle, the rider takes two reins in each hand. The reins of the lower snaffle bit (corresponding to the curb bit) pass between the third and little finger; the reins of the upper snaffle bit pass under the little finger, and both reins are held upon the forefinger by the thumb as explained above.
Holding the double bridle reins.—With horses that pull hard, and more especially with horses that struggle or fight, it is a distinct advantage to hold the reins in English fashion, that is, with two reins in each hand as described above for the double snaffle.
- To take the double bridle reins in one hand (the left) turn the right wrist to the left until the back of the right hand is up; move the right hand to the left and insert the second finger of the left hand between the two reins (right snaffle rein uppermost). All four reins are held upon the second joint of the forefinger by the thumb. To pass the reins from the left hand to the right hand, turn over the back of the left hand to the right and insert the extended fingers of the right hand between the reins in such a manner that there will be a rein above each finger (left snaffle rein uppermost), the four reins coming out under the little finger instead of above the forefinger. If the hands are habitually held back up, as is frequently done, the passing of the four reins from one hand to the other is much simplified.-The Board.