09-12-2009, 11:29 AM
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Actually Drew - I learnt something very interesting about the "Puppy dog paw" hand position.
Everyone is always stressing, thumbs up, don't break the line - yeah yeah - great theory, but it doesn't always work. Take me for example.
My biggest issue, are my hands/elbows/shoulders - I ride too stiff. Especially when I ride with my thumbs up. It took taking lessons under two seperate, very knowledgeable Hunter/Jumper's in my area. One went GP, the other trained under GM.
What fixed my stiff hands, elbows, shoulder issue? Riding with "puppy dog paw" hands.
I play the fiddle. When I bow with my right arm, it is very soft, flexable, smooth, gentle, with beautiful wrist action and a very flexable elbow.
Why? Because my hand, while holding my bow - is in the "puppy dog" position.
So, apply that in the saddle. When my hands are in the position where I look like I am going to play the piano - I'm soft, and guess what......so is my horse.
There is nothing wrong with riding in puppy dog paws, so long as it is aiding you in remaining soft and giving.
My biggest issue, is I look down all the time when I am doing flat work. My eyes are staring smack dab on Nelson's head.
What am I looking for???? I don't know. Gold? Dropped money?