Skip to main content
Publish date:

Dressage Solutions: Prevent Your Reins from Getting Too Long or Too Short

Try this tip from Jane Karol.

Think of the rein contact as if you were talking to someone at a comfortable distance across a dinner table. If you expand the distance and stop talking, the person loses attention and becomes distracted. If you suddenly shorten the distance and talk without a break, the person becomes uncomfortable and claustrophobic.—Jane Karol

(Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz)

(Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz)

Jane Karol, PsyD, is a U.S. Dressage Federation gold medalist. She has trained seven horses to Grand Prix and has worked with many of the top clinicians in the world, including Lendon Gray and Gerrit-Claes Bierenbroodspot. She is a doctorate-level psychologist and works with children in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy at her Bear Spot Farm in Concord, Massachusetts, which is also a dressage training facility ( She says that equine assisted psychotherapy harnesses the horse’s ability to be both loving friend and patient teacher.

This article first appeared in the November 2012 issue of Dressage Today.