The Direct Rein, as its name implies, is a simple, unilateral action of the hand that produces a corresponding effect on the horse on the same side. It is also, somewhat imprecisely, called an “opening rein” or a “leading rein,” though these terms refer specifically to the rein in its respective capacities as an outside "opening rein" or an inside "leading rein," not to the rein aid in general.
This is the rider’s primary rein aid, and is most commonly used for basic bending, turns and circles where the horse’s head is gently taken in the desired direction by a rein that leads to the inside. In fact, the vast majority of rein aids a rider will apply, no matter what level or discipline one rides, will be direct rein aids, making this the foundation rein aid in all English riding.
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