Correct Hand Position - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Correct Hand Position

I looked up a lot of pictures but read different things.. so I thought I would ask here.
My 4-H club leader recently instructed me to hold my hands differently than I learned/read about and am used to. I don't know if she is right or not, as she isn't the greatest teacher anyway. Help appreciated..

My usual hand position: (my hands usually end up a little more tilted towards each other when I'm riding, but very little)
IMG_3704.jpg IMG_3708.jpg

What she tells me to do:
IMG_3706.jpg IMG_3710.jpg

So, which is correct?

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post #2 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 08:39 AM
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I'm assuming you're riding English? Thumbs up with riding - your first position is correct. Puppy paws/piano hands are not.
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I do ride English, sorry I forgot to include that.
It was throwing me off because it felt very un-natural to have my hands like she told me.

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post #4 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 09:03 AM
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Try pulling your elbows back while having your hands in each of those positions....you'll note just how little movement you have when you are riding with puppy paws - your elbow will be much more constricted;)
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 09:06 AM
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Thumbs up, wrists straight.


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post #6 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Muppetgirl: She told me that was the advantage to it :b I didn't quite understand.
I've never had lessons before so being instructed is new to me. I've always just read/watched videos and figured things out on my own. So far I think I've taught myself much better than she ever could, not to be rude, she just isn't a great teacher.

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post #7 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 12:00 PM
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THere is reasoning about a correct position (thumbs up/hand slightly angled like withers). First it keeps the elbow closed to the trunk, and secondly the bones of the forearm are more neutral. The only negative thing in the first pics it that your wrists are broken upward which is stiffening. When you 'use' the hand it is more like putting a key in a lock, slight turning outward of the thumb will allow the horse to feel a suggestion of an aid w/o pulling back. (And the thumb up position is true whether english or western.) Further the upper arm should hang vertically, straight line from elbow to horse's mouth.

A flat hand is very tensed, and worse yet it would likely be used with a low manner/ and flat (hence action of bit on the bars of the mouth).
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-25-2013, 03:22 AM
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time for a new instructor I think!!
Thumbs up always. You will find some riders who tilt thier hands in slightly but not to piano hands extent.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #9 of 18 Old 04-25-2013, 05:16 AM
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Faye-- Since it is the instructor for a 4-H group, she may not be able to get another instructor.

You are correct with the thumbs up, with a slight angle to match the withers.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-25-2013, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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I can't get a new instructor. These lessons are free, and even if I don't learn much its a lot of experience riding with other horses. There is a pretty good English rider who I'm becoming friends with that rides there so she helps me out now. (:

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