Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Arlington, Texas
Do you mean hard hands or busy hands? Hard hands means you are hanging tightly onto the reins with excessive contact on the horse's mouth, while busy hands mean you can't keep your hands still. Either way, it's a bad habit that you should fix rather than find a horse that can deal with it. If you find a horse with tolerance for a hard hand then it will probably not be very responsive to the bit, maybe even be the sort that will take the bit and run.
How to TELL your hands are hard is a difficult question... In English you SHOULD have contact with the horse's mouth at pretty much all times. But you shouldn't be actively pulling back or yanking, just a soft, steady contact without major pressure.
The easiest way to tell if you are hard handed is probably by your horse's reactions. Does it have a hard mouth? Does it toss its head or carry itself with "giraffe neck" to escape the pressure? Does it start backing up when you are trying to get it to move forward? Does it get frustrated and start dancing or otherwise exhibiting symptoms of mixed signals when you ask it to move forward? If so, you may want to soften your hands. There should not be slack in the reins, but you don't need to be hanging on, either.