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Achenbach. A word that scares many a driver!!!

I will do a longer post on different styles of rein handling, but I’m eager to show you all a video of one of my good friends, Adam Canaday. In this video he shows you how to make a proper left hand turn driving with 1 hand, Achenbach. I struggle

most with left hand turns. Right? No problem. Last time I went out driving with Adam we made a lot of right hand turns because he made me drive Achenbach and that left hand turn gets me every time!

Watch the video on my YouTube channel with this link:

To get to sit with a driver that knows the intricacies of rein handling is a real privilege. I’ve found myself lucky enough to sit next to many exceptional drivers over the years and the Achenbach style of rein handling is the most correct and effective driving method wether you have 2 reins, 4, or more. Adam has been generous enough to share a few words of instruction and this video for us to really see how the reins are handled. To quickly sum up Achenbach, one handed driving, Adam said, “The benefits of Achenbach… It encompasses the 3 phases and is an easy way to level a horse, pair, or team… Most people are hand heavy on one [rein or the other rein] so it (Achenbach) allows even contact... Reins in left hand allow you to manipulate with your right and not drop the reins.”

One of the gods of driving, Tom Ryder, has an excellent description of handling reins on page 73 of his book (more like a Bible to drivers), On the Box Seat: A Manual of Driving (you can purchase this book through the Carriage Association of America and through other retailers -I found my copy at Driving Essentials in New Holland, PA).

Specifically on the left hand turn, as demonstrated in the YouTube link above with Adam at the reins, Tom Ryder says:

”To make a diagonal turn using the left hand only, [turn] to the left by moving the hand across the body towards the right hip at the same time turning it in a clockwise direction so that the back of the hand comes uppermost.”

Read that 3x, go watch the video of Adam 3x through, then come back and read it again 3 times.

Now try it with reins and no horse…. A reinboard is an excellent tool to practice with. And that will lead us to another upcoming blog…. How to make and use a reinboard to practice rein handling!!

Have you tried one handed driving? Ever even heard of Achenbach in carriage driving before? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

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I am committing to learn this style of reinsmanship! 😁♥️


I love the finesse of this style of reinsmanship! Something to aspire to one day do well... Great article!

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