Fixing hands... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 12-13-2012, 01:32 PM
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A quick fix is to put colored tape on the reins - something that stands out like white tape on black reins. There are also reins you can but that have colored "sections" - so if you tell her BOTH hands should be on the line between blue and red then she can easily see if they are located in the proper place on the reins, and of course if they are even.

He's a link to an example of what I'm talking about as far as colored reins go:

Also - you stated "She's never liked holding the reins too firmly coz she doesn't want to pull on the horses mouth" - teach her instead of opening her fingers to open (and close) her elbows. I like to use the example of holding their hands - does anyone enjoy holding "fish" hands - where the contact is so light it's like holding a slippery fish? Conversely someone who crunches your (hand) bones is also uncomfortable. So best to keep a steady "medium" contact, which she can do by opening and closing elbows for a nice steady contact.

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Last edited by Valentina; 12-13-2012 at 01:37 PM.
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post #12 of 21 Old 12-13-2012, 01:41 PM
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I dont think that telling the kid to either ride properly or get off is that bad of an idea. Depends on how motivated the kid is. If I had a 13 year old wanting to do the FEI stuff I would expect their instructor to be very tough on them.

I would give her short crops or sticks to hold onto with the reins. Get everything all positioned at first so it is correct. Every time she drops a stick she has to dismount, do 5 push ups, pick up the stick and remount. I bet the habit will disappear quickly. Explain to her that there is actually nothing that she will do to hurt the horse's mouth. I don't know if kids these days still play with tin cans and string, if she hasn't then show her the "telephone" game with the string and the cans. That is what a good contact should be like, if the string is taught, you can talk to each other. If it is too loose then the other person (or the horse) doesn't know what you are saying.

Good luck!

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Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 12-13-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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post #13 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 12:57 PM
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Have the student horse the reins fillis/driving style (rein goes over the point finger and down through the hand). The reason the reins get uneven is that the thumb is not sustained. This will help with that.
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post #14 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 04:51 PM
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I am a rein slipper. Even being very aware of it, I still do it all the time. These two things help me...somewhat.

Ride with reins between thumb and forefinger instead of traditional way. You can really feel them start to slip that way.

Ride with bungee cords in place of reins. It doesn't help with slipping directly, but gives you such a good feeling of contact that you don't want to let it go once you have reins back.

That's all I've got other than the ride holding a crop or bucking strap across both reins which tends to sacrifice the soft hands.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #15 of 21 Old 12-28-2012, 04:17 AM
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Her problem will be stemming from her not keeping her hand shut arouond the rein. Explain that she needs to have her finger tips touch her palms and that her thumb needs to be firm on the rein.

A really common problem. You just have to keep reminding her. One thing I have found with teaching children is rather than talk to them about bend is to just have them keep the pony straight in front of them.

I also teach mine that they must 'Check & Correct' their position frequently, especially before doing any transitions. Teaching contact is probably the hardest part of teaching riding. Eventually they do get it as they start to develop feel.

Definately don't knot the reins as this doesn't help them to be responsible for the length of the reins.
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post #16 of 21 Old 12-28-2012, 04:29 AM
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My god - some of you are obnoxious bullies! Do you want this child to enjoy riding or not. I really can't believe some of the suggestions.

A decent instructor encourages a rider not demeans their ability. I've taught children to ride for over 40 years and without a doubt I can say that they do not respond well to being bullied.

I have riders who have represented my country and all have been taught the same - with empathy and encouragement. When they do well they are rewarded with praise, when they get it wrong their attentioni is drawn to the problem and then how to solve it.

When you are being paid to teach you teach with respect and professionalism.

She is 13 - only ridden for a year - she will get the hang of things in time. Hopefully she will enjoy her lessons and continue to want to learn. Amir - don't despair she will get ther.
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post #17 of 21 Old 12-28-2012, 08:10 PM
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I just wanted to add a little something my instructor had me do yesterday. Granted, I am a teenager and do not have the experience many of you have, so take this with a grain of salt.

For a while, I've been fighting my position (mostly balance as I go through growth spurts). Recently, the reins began to slowly slip through my fingers, due to having too "soft" (incorrect softness) hands. I tried the tape, but I found it made me grip the reins and put too much attention in my hands and not enough in my seat.

Yesterday, my instructor brought out a short crop (bat) and had me hold it under my thumbs, on top of the reins. Not only did it bring my hands together and upright, but my reins stayed short. Turns out I had been slightly collapsing my wrists, which had let the reins out. Having the crop there prevented me from having my hands in an incorrect position and it has helped me find softness through my elbows, rather than by opening my fingers or collapsing my wrists.
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post #18 of 21 Old 12-28-2012, 09:50 PM
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Hedgie - thanks for sharing, it is a good exercise and I may just try that with one of my little people tomorrow.
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-28-2012, 10:34 PM
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maybe a good cattle prod, or other electrical shock instrument would make her remember. you could wire it to her saddle and set it off with a blue tooth wi-fi system. Give her one warning, "hands!" and give her two seconds to correct them, then ZAP her so that she'll never do that again. See if that works.
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post #20 of 21 Old 12-31-2012, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I wasn't overly concerned as she was just coming back after 6 months off from a broken arm, but I wanted to nip it in the bud before it was too late.
She's come a long way and has pretty much stopped slipping that inside rein, it's very minimal that I'm reminding her at all. Didn't have to say a word about it last lesson :)
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