We went to a show today, and here are some pictures.
We did really good in the showmanship/halter (1st place showmanship, and 2nd in halter!!).
I've been going through my pictures, and I think I'm too heavy with my hands during the riding. What do you think?
What should I do?
How bad is it?
And, I know it's hard to critique anything else without my face in the picture, but if you see anything please let me know everything and anything I could improve. Even if it's something tiny it will help me improve.
Congratulations on placing so well in halter and showmanship .
First thing that pops out at me is that you should be riding with only one hand when you are using a curb bit in a show, it might also help to let your reins out a notch. They seem a little short to me. Second, it appears that you really have your hands clenched around the reins in nearly every picture. I know that my hands get hard and I can't feel as much when I have the reins in a tight grip. Also, it might help to put just a bit more bend in your elbows. They are awfully straight in most of the pix.
I am not going to say that how I ride is correct (cause technically it probably isn't) but I do have soft hands and I am comfortable with how I ride. This is my usual form when I am riding. I keep my elbows just a little bent (that provides more fluidity than just moving your whole arm from the shoulder) and my hands have a nice soft grip on the reins. I usually keep the reins in that middle joint of my fingers and usually, just tightening my fist is enough of a cue without actually having to move my arms. Again, not saying that you should ride like me but just throwing some ideas out there that might help. Here is a pic of me on one of my greenies.
Just throwing this out there but if you have the means, riding without your hands all together and/or bareback might help. If you feel comfortable enough to ride with out your hands all together then when you do get your reins back hopefully your hand wont be as heavy. I've never been heavy handed so I don't really know but that is something I did when I was little.
Attach yarn to the bit and use them as your reins. Knot your reins and ride with the yarn reins. The yarn will quickly teach you to stay light in your contact since it will break if you're heavy handed.