One or two handed riding: Does it make a difference?

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


The impact of riders and handlers on horses has come under growingscrutiny with increasing availability of technology capable of accurately measuring physical horse-human interactions. Effective rein useis crucial for the delivery of clear signals and subsequently thediscernable release of pressure when the required response is given bythe horse. Rein tension studies commonly involve two-handed riding.This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of one- versus twohanded rein use. Twenty female riders (28.210.1 years), self-rated asexperienced, representing a wide range of equestrian disciplines sat ina general purpose saddle secured on stationary saddle stand with thestirrups set at their usual riding length. Centaur Rein Tension gaugeswere fixed to a solid box at horse head height and fitted with astandard pair of leather 5 x 20mm wide reins. Participants were asked to take up the rein tension that they would use when riding in trot, 3times each two-handed and one-handed (using the riders naturalhand of choice) using a cross-over design with a 30-minute wash-outperiod. No significant differences were evident between left andright hand rein tension when using two hands (t59¼1.89; P>0.05;left¼4.732.65N; right¼4.912.63N) or one hand (t59¼0.20; P>0.05;left¼4.212.32N; right¼4.172.91N). The relative use of the left andright reins is less consistent with one hand than with two. Reliablerein tension studies using different riding styles are necessary toimprove understanding of the rider’s effect on the horse and ultimately to improve the welfare of horses used in equestrianism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-156
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Veterinary Behavior: clinical applications and research
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2019


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