Riding and Driving by Edward L. Anderson and Price Collier[ebook]
The man, having mounted, will take in his left hand the reins of the curb-bit divided by the little finger, the reins of the snaffle divided by the long finger, the loose ends of both pairs of reins carried through his hand and held by the thumb against the forefinger, and draw the curb-reins until he can feel the mouth of the horse. The right hand will be kept on the loose ends of the reins behind the left, but when it is called upon to assist the bridle-hand it will act upon the reins in front of the left hand, except in shortening the reins, when it will draw them through the bridle-hand from behind. Then, closing his legs against the animal's sides, the rider should make gentle vibrations of the curb-reins by a play of his fingers until the pliant jaw and the working of the muscles under him show that the horse is ready to move in hand. In this form of collection he should go forward in the walk. To turn to the right he should bend the head of the horse with the right snaffle-rein caught in his right hand, and carry the left hand in which are the curb-reins over to the right until the outer rein comes against the neck of the horse.