Why Knot?

    One thing we talk about at our clinics is hands. In fact R.E. Josey believes that a lot of times he does not have to change bits if he can get the rider to change his or her hands. Good hands are what make for great horses. What exactly qualifies as good hands? Low, even and consistently placed hands are things that help give horses the clearest signals. Sometimes people may think knot reins are for beginners when actually they are a tool to help riders of all levels consistently place their hands in the right spot every time.

    I believe you need to have a set of reins for each horse you run. When you have to constantly swap tack between horses, it opens the door for errors that you could easily prevent. If you run to the first barrel with your reins too long or too short, it can cause you to give the wrong signals. The length of your reins is very important. When your horse is standing with their head in a natural position you want your reins to stop about 2-4 inches in front of the saddle horn and you don’t want them to reach your horn.  This depends on how your horse carries his head.

    With your reins adjusted as suggested above, as you slide your hands you will know exactly where they are as you feel each set of knots. With most horses, the sweet spot for a turn will be the first knot.

    Oftentimes, inexperienced riders will find themselves in the middle of their reins nowhere near a knot. This allows a horse to drop a shoulder or move in the wrong direction. Always remember you want your hands to be shoulder width apart, low and even going to each barrel. When your hands are placed on the correct knots, all you have to do is drop your outside rein and bend your elbow for a great turn.