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Hands low and wide?

This is a discussion on Hands low and wide? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        06-17-2011, 11:01 AM
      #11
    Started
    AKA "the human side rein effect". It annoys me to no end! People do this to force their horses to put their heads down, but like Kayty said, it does not engage the hind end. It is not an effective or productive way to ride. A lot of people have a tendency to focus on one thing, the horse's head. If you ever get confused, look at some of the professionals, Lars Peterson, Todd Flettrich, they NEVER have their hands down and wide....
         
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        06-19-2011, 08:38 PM
      #12
    Trained
    If you're talking spread apart, but still straight line to bit, those are "training wheels" for green horses. Anything below the withers puts pressure on the bars of the mouth (painful) and is very very wrong.
         
        06-19-2011, 10:18 PM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    This is also a method for shortening the rein length without actually shortening your reins. What? Think of a triangle. If you move your hands out farther but keep their distance position in front of you the same the actual rein length will be unchanged but it will have to pull back on the horse's mouth because you are creating a triangle on each side of the neck with a longer and longer hypotenuse. It actually takes up slack in the rein, and when you bring your hands back toward the neck, even if you don't advance them toward the horse, the hrose feels a longer rein.
         
        06-20-2011, 08:39 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    So everything was making sense till I got to your comment tinylily lol care to explain a little more?
         
        06-20-2011, 08:45 PM
      #15
    Trained
    RedTree, in explanation to Tiny's post - if you are riding with your reins say 50cm long. Your hands are together at the wither. Then you open your hands out, so that they are still 50cm from the bit, however the distance from the bit to your hand has shortened because you have created a broader gap between your hands. This is a really good technique to use while riding green horses when teaching then about contact. You can quickly create more or less contact without having to try to shorten your reins.
         
        06-20-2011, 08:52 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Ohh okay that makes sense now, thanks Kayty :)
         
        06-20-2011, 08:53 PM
      #17
    Super Moderator
    It is hard to explain. If I could draw it for you, you'd get what I mean. I am sorry if I only confused you. It's kind of geometry in real life!

    I use this technique a fair amount, and as Kayty said, helps for horses new to contact and learning to be "stretchy" to the bit.
         

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