HOW THE RIGHT HAND HELPS THE LEFT HAND, AND OTHER CORPORAL AIDS
In polo, maneuvering the horse is an action carried out with the left hand, holding the superior and inferior reins, but there are also other corporal aids, such as when the right stick hand assists the left hand, which can help steer the horse in the right direction. This is a very important aspect of polo, since 95% of game time is spent turning or checking the horse, with only 5% of the time spent setting up the swing and striking the ball. The act of holding the reins with two hands shouldn’t be taken as a gesture of force; on the contrary, it’s an act of greater subtlety and control.
The benefits of this action are as follows:
1) Smoother transition into braking, feeling the pressure of the bit, which works in a straight and not oblique manner, like when we use our left hand alone.
2) Saves strength in left arm, as the action is divided between both arms.
3) Balance on the horse improves.
4) Gain greater sense of the horse’s energy; we know if he’s leaning on the bit, due to tiredness.
5) Knowledge of the positioning of the horses’ posterior members (legs) at the point of the check.
6) Gains stability in upper body.
7) Greater self-awareness.
How to hold the reins:
The right stick hand assists the left hand, being placed in front of it (with the palm facing upwards, holding the stick between the thumb and the index finger, which falls in front and to the right of the horse), holding the lower reins with the three remaining fingers, which brake and adjust the positioning of the neck.
Both hands come towards the center of the chest, pushing the weight onto the back legs, allowing for greater lateral agility. It is important to clarify that when the “right hand assists the left”, neither hand loses possession. Not using both hands in certain actions indicates an error, and is not beneficial in riding.