Low hands help...

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding

Low hands help...

This is a discussion on Low hands help... within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

Like Tree28Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    03-31-2013, 03:55 PM
Low hands help...

My instructor says that I carry my hands too low and wide which can be uncomfortable for my horse, are there any exercises I can do in my sessions without my instructor to help me carry them higher??
I already ride with the whip across my thumbs which helps a lot abut when I take the whip away they drop again ! It's very annoying as I don't want to be hurting my horse, I want him to trust my hands...
Sponsored Links
    03-31-2013, 06:15 PM
What discipline are you riding?
    03-31-2013, 07:32 PM
English :)
    03-31-2013, 08:29 PM
Shall I guess that by "English," you mean a forward style/hunt seat saddle?
    04-01-2013, 08:10 AM
You want to have a straight line from the elbow to the horse's mouth (both when the viewer looks at you from the side, and when you look from above. The thumbs should be rather upright/highest point; this keeps the upper arms closed to the body (and the upper arm should hang vertically).

WHY carry the hands higher? Because low wide hands create pain on the bars and precipitous flexion, so the horse will be too closed first and then often come above the bit in an effort to avoid the pain.
    04-01-2013, 07:07 PM
Try resting your knuckles just in front of the horse's wither, or use a neck strap to hold onto.
It's about muscle memory, if you have something physical to focus on it will be easier to correct your hands than only thinking 'hands up'.
Posted via Mobile Device
    04-01-2013, 10:33 PM
Resting the knuckles will lower the hands, and holding a neck strap will tend to create piano hands.... those go against what the op is requesting AND they straighten the elbows away from the trunk.
updownrider likes this.
    04-01-2013, 11:17 PM
Green Broke
We used to use an elastic band and string on our upper arms (just above the elbow - string around arms then tied to elastic band that went behind your back; tension adjusted so that if your arm was where it should be there would be none to minimal pressure from the string). The purpose was to keep your arms (and consequently your hands) in their proper position. Elasticity was important in the event you needed to make 'save yourself from injury' adjustments.
    04-01-2013, 11:39 PM
Originally Posted by equitate    
Resting the knuckles will lower the hands, and holding a neck strap will tend to create piano hands.... those go against what the op is requesting AND they straighten the elbows away from the trunk.

Sorry I must disagree with this. Resting knuckles/using a bucking strap is a tried and true method for getting the rider's muscle memory correct in positioning of the arm.
The upper arm should rest beside the upper body, there should be a slight bend in the elbow which changes as the rider posts, or the horse canters, etc, in order to keep the hands still relative to the horse's neck. The best way to train this is to have the rider use a bucking strap until s/he has good muscle memory. Some riders (myself included) who have stubby arms will find that they have to carry the elbows infront of the torso, this is not incorrect. What is correct is to have the hands quiet and independent. What is incorrect is to have the hands too high, working backwards and pulling (as is seen in 95% of north american riders), likely because of this "posed" thumbs up, heels down mentality.

I do not have a problem with "low" hands. However wide hands are a vice which needs to be stopped. The hands should be no wider than 4" apart at any point. By keeping the hands close together, they cannot drop below a certain point on the wither, they cannot be brought onto the saddle or the leg, and they generally stay in their "box". Riding with a bucking strap is the number one best way to get a rider to hold his/her hands close together and quietly.

Until the rider can effectively press the hands away from the body and use them in a completely independent fashion, the hand position will never truly be correct and the horse will always have a sore mouth from being pulled on. Learning by use of a bucking strap, pressing the knuckles, etc.. is the best way to learn to be kind to a horse's mouth.

Good luck OP!
    04-02-2013, 12:23 AM
Couldnt have said it better myself, Anebel!
Even now I will often tuck a finger under the velcro of my saddle cloth, to test how dependant I am on my hands. It you start pulling agai st the saddle cloth/neck strap you know there's an issue to address.
There is no need to have a 90 degree bend in your elbows!
Posted via Mobile Device

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Healthy, low cost, low sugar treats for horses BlondieHorseChic Horse Talk 11 03-21-2012 01:44 PM
Hands low and wide? RedTree English Riding 16 06-20-2011 09:53 PM
My hands! Are betraying me.. Tips on quiet hands? Clair Horse Riding 6 09-14-2010 05:25 PM
Shorty got low, low ,low, low Dumas'_Grrrl Horse Pictures 1 05-16-2008 04:25 PM
Look ma- No hands! kristy Horse Videos 8 01-31-2008 01:43 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0