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tips for keeping hands down and quiet please!
This is the biggest problem my trainer points out to me. I am a beginner and I really want to move up in my ranks so I can be taken more seriously!! ANY tips or tricks would be very helpful! :)
One trick I use with my lesson girls that have this problem is to take a piece of bailing twine and tie it to the pommel of the saddle. Hold it along with the reins and make a knot where your hands are just slightly too high. That way it'll get tight when your hands come up and the knot will remind you to lower them. Does this make sense?
Put a bucking strap on your saddle and then hold onto it. You need to get used to having your hands low and still and this will help. After a few weeks you can start weaning yourself off of it and press your knuckles into the horse's wither/neck, but always have it there just incase you feel your hands getting too busy.
You could also catch a little mane hair with your pinky. If your hands are moving too much you need to relax your elbows. When off the horse, get someone to hold the bridle while you hold the reins as tho riding. The other person then mimics a horse pulling. If your elbow is relaxed your arm will follow the movement. It takes a little practise. Then try posting in a chair and doing the same.
Since you are a beginner your hands moving could be a balance thing. I would suggest bareback riding on a lunge line with no hands.
Use your pinky fingers to keep contact with a fixed point on your horse or the front of your saddle pad. It keeps your hands quiet while still allowing following movement.
I'd suggest and I know it sounds kind of lame but I'd suggest holding your horse's mane and riding or riding bareback while being lunged and just practice keeping your hands low.
Put your hands in front of the pommel and keep them there until you half-halt or halt. Start with stretching your arms straight in front of you when you ride. You will NOT be able to keep them straight long bc your muscles will get sore. In order to balance on the horse people react by curling into a fetal position and this includes pulling the reins towards yourself--this is your problem. You have to train yourself to the unnatural and push your body away from fetal position.
Do not cross the outside rein across the horse's mane when turning. If you are neck reining you touch the rein on the neck. If you are direct reining pull out sideways to turn.
Do you get cable/satellite? This week Julie Goodnight works with a women who has been interfering with her mare's mouth during the canter cue. Mimic what Julie has her client (also) "Julie" do with the reins.
You want to make your body independant of your hands and independant of your legs. It takes awhile so be patient with yourself and praise every improvement. =D
just simply run around and try keep your hands still in a position when riding. silly but it may work.
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