Keeping those hands still.. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 07-08-2009, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckface View Post

my instructor is basically just trying to get me to practise putting him on the bit, and giving some rein when hes being nice with his head. And if he moves out of that nice position, to put a bit of pressure on the reins, to try and get him to accept it more. She is teaching me, not him.
What you are doing has absolutely nothing to do with 'putting the horse on the bit'. Not even close.

You do NOT ride the horse's head. You ride the hindquarter. You let the horse seek the contact.

Again, I can't even begin to tell you what you should be doing because you don't have any of the basics. You aren't being taught correctly and you aren't being educated on equine biomechanics.

Look for a new place to take lessons.
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post #12 of 22 Old 07-08-2009, 11:40 AM
Green Broke
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Originally Posted by Chuckface View Post
my instructor is basically just trying to get me to practise putting him on the bit, and giving some rein when hes being nice with his head. And if he moves out of that nice position, to put a bit of pressure on the reins, to try and get him to accept it more. She is teaching me, not him.

thansk for the tips everyone!
The point is, you do not "hold" the horse "on the bit" with the reins in Dressage. If your instructor is teaching you to do this, then you need to find a new riding instructor.
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post #13 of 22 Old 07-16-2009, 02:54 AM
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i have an issue with keeping my hands "still" too.
i want to see saw all the time instead of going to my leg and seat,
i just think about it all the time when i ride, always its just become my new main goal. erm maybe hold a riding crop with your thumbs? i just started thinking and they got 1000000000 times better within a week.

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post #14 of 22 Old 07-16-2009, 11:05 AM
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I have to agree with the others on tis one....You can work on keeping your hans in correct position, but dressage is centered in the moveing "riding the hind end" I was just reading this very thing...
A long time ago when I first started riding my hands were always moving...I know that lesson horses can be funky sometimes, but if your hands are moveing your probably looking at them moving...if you are...stop doing that because everytime you tilt your head down to check your arm/hand ovements your throwing this horse off balance...
Don't'll get their...if it were that easy every single person would be doing it....
Maybe you do need a different instructor and maybe not...Maybe you might want to discus the basics of dressage with the instructor and see what sense you get about where she/ he is with it...
Maybe try readnig some dressage basics...
I have not ridden any dressage in a long while but I do remember that this is afine balance between the horse and rider ....moving together. i would suspect that your hands are such a main focus that everything else you know and understand is forgotten because your focusing so much on that one thing...
Think of the whole big picture and let the ride happen....Focus on your body's center position and the horse and just relax....
No one is by any means perfect...sometimes things just need to be explained in different ways and your instructor sounds like she/he mught be grilling you about this....just try and will get there....practice....practice
There is so mnay things to be thinking of all at one time so ....relax is the best advice i can give...and have an open mind...
Good luck....
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post #15 of 22 Old 07-16-2009, 11:47 PM
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Relax and don't get stiff ;) Move with the horse rather than against them.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #16 of 22 Old 07-20-2009, 02:51 PM
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Get thee to an instructor - *snicker* I love it, Mercedes lol I may have to put that in my letter head ha ha!

Ask Often, Demand Nothing, and Reward Generously.
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post #17 of 22 Old 07-20-2009, 07:24 PM
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Gosh you guys are harsh, firing someone else's trainer based on a students explination of learning how to put a horse on the bit. You can't just kick a horses hind end and magically expect it to go into a frame. It takes a combination of both bridle and legging the hindend into engagement, stressing only one of either isn't going to solve the problem. I'm having a tough time assesing how much your hands are really moving, at first it sounded like you were a beginner learning how to lock your knuckles on the neck or in the mane and move with the horses motion, appearing still because they don't change position, a good step to truly still hands, while also exploring the idea of putting your horse on the bit and in a frame. I think the OP likes to see the horses head set, and it's a reward for her to accomplish it, not neccesarily the trainer stressing the head has to be in a positon. She is probably just covering it one step at a time, then the whole picture will be realized. Obviously she has pointed out that her hands are affecting the horses headset, so maybe it's not trying to get the horse in a frame, by trying to stop her hands from preventing a horse who will always go in a frame when not interfered with in the mouth. The confusion set in when you stated that your hands don't really move, just subtly, and most decent advanced riders can claim the same folly. Maybe you need to video yourself and see just how much your hands are really moving, probably more than you realize but this is to be expected, and you will realize where you tend to get worse or better. Some sort of strap around the neck really helps, rather than a saddle pad (to bulky with the reins and pad in your hand). A neck strap also can move up and down the neck more for proper positioning and steadying. Twine will work, or if you want to look a little more classy, a stirrup leather. Talk to your trainer about using a neck strap and then be really dillegent about using it every single time you ride so you always are able to focus on this problem. Maybe your trainer doesn't know that you have set this as your goal, and if you tell him/her they will help you only work on that for a lesson or two. I wouldn't fire your trainer, give them a fair break, but if you are really unsure now whether they are teaching you properly then having another lesson with someone else can help you determine if you are happy where you are or maybe have outgrown the lesson horses being provided. Trainers sometimes get caught trying to teach their priorities, but if you have been riding there a long time, interjecting with some personal goals and ideas for what you want to be learning is a good idea, I am sure they will want to see you acheive it as much as you do.

Troubled TB ~"A thorn by any other name will prick just as deep." @-'--,---
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post #18 of 22 Old 07-26-2009, 03:24 AM
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yes you have to work a horse from behind. but is the horse going to work through from behind into an unsteady contact? no i dont think so.
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post #19 of 22 Old 07-27-2009, 02:51 PM
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With your elbows on your waist - as you post UP open your elbows (think of pushing your hands down), as you rise then close your elbows. This way you're doing a give and take on the reins to compensate for your body moving up and down.

Many times at the rising trot the hands move with the body and using this technique will help fix that problem.
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post #20 of 22 Old 07-28-2009, 06:54 PM
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Sometimes what complicates things is that some horses reach into the contact one stride and then suck back the next stride due to not being ridden in a steady tempo or if they are behind the leg. If the rider is still learning the idea of contact, it makes it very hard to keep a consistent contact because one stride you have to bring you hands back one 1" and the next stride it's 2". (not sure if that makes any sense) My horse does it and I have open and close my elbows differently every stride to give the appearance of consistent contact. If this sounds familiar, and your horse is part of the issue, you can work on your hands without worrying about him by using a fixed item such as a neck strap. A rubber band tied on his mane will also work. Anything that you can use as a reference point. Put your hands in their ideal position, (hands in front of the pommel and pinky length above the withers). Then use your pinkies to stay in contact with the reference item. If you keep your hands there, regardless of what your horse's neck is doing, your hands will follow and come back correctly with each stride since the item is on his neck. You'll probably find that once your contact is more consistent, your horse will find it more inviting and actually seek it out more.

As for the ongoing issue of head set, try substituing shoulders for head. When you use your reins, you're actually steering or manipulating his shoulders, not his head. Your seat runs the back of the bus, reins run the front. Dressage is about putting both together to work in a continuous loop.

Hope that helps.
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