Leaning On My Hands? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-01-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Leaning On My Hands?

For reference, I am a pretty green rider (walk/trot/canter and a little jumping). I don't know anything about the whole 'on the bit' thing.
I recently started riding an older QH gelding. He was a lesson horse (hunter/jumper) before he came to the barn I ride at. He never had any Western training or anything that would warrant him keeping his head low.
He leans on my hands constantly, especially at a trot. The lady who I ride with (who is an instructor, but we just exercise the horses together and sometimes she'll give me pointers) says he does it to everyone. She suggested I put my weight in my elbows (?) and hold my hands firmly in one spot until he stopped resisting, while continuing to push him forward with my legs. He didn't stop resisting. I felt like it disrupted my seat and when I finished riding, my back was pretty sore.
Have any of you had a problem like this with a horse? How did you fix it? Is there any word-pictures or images you use to help you?
Thanks in advance!

A horse is a mirror to your soul. And sometimes you may not like what you see. - Buck Brannaman
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-01-2013, 08:58 PM
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your instructor is telling you to set your hands agains the horse in hopes that the horse, getting no release from leaning on your hands, will choose to come off the pressure. This works. But, you have to be very good at rewarding the horse's attempts to come off the bit, so you have to have a ready feel for when he gives , even the tiniest amount, and reward the horse's "give" with an even bigger "give" of your own.

Also, you cannot just meet his pressure in exactly the same mount. you meet his pull, but you add just one ounce more. you donn't want to equal him exactly because you are only giving him as much resistance as he is willing to put in, so there is no reason for him to give to you. you are stuck in a stalemate. By adding the tiniest bit more, the hrose is given a reason to reconsider his habit of leaning on the rein and to try something different, such as giving to the bit.

However, if you don't see his "try", and you don't reward him for it, he will simply up his resistance to match yours. Do you get it?
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-02-2013, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Yes, that does make sense. Thank you!

A horse is a mirror to your soul. And sometimes you may not like what you see. - Buck Brannaman
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