Hands... and Hips
Today I rode Terminator western, which is a change from our normal routine. She was trained as a barrel racer after being a conformation winner in her younger years but that's not the point.
(My keyboard is lazy so I apologize for any misspellings.)
I got to thinking today, about my hands while riding western.
I plan on trying western pleasure as well as gaming this coming spring and summer with her. And well.. I'll just get to the question(s).
1) When riding with one hand, what should your off hand me doing? Should it be a fist in front of your belly button or should it hang by your knee or behind your thigh... what?
2) Do judges like seeing you ride with your outside or your inside hand? Or would the rather just see the left or the right hand steering? Do they like ambidextrous riders?
3) Should my hand (that is on the reins) be above the horn, in front of the horn, or in my belly button?
4) What kind of motion should my hips make in order to not land on her back? I was trained English so my riding at the canter/lope is a bit more upright/perched but I've seen Western riders more on their pockets except when I do that, I bounce.
And any other tips would be appreciated.
2) I dont think the judges care.. ahah atleast when Im compete I find they dont. I ride with my right hand cause I am right handed.
3) You ride with eather it infront of the horn, or just slightly above and infront of it.
4) You want to sit far into your back pockets, Put your weight there, I find that if you need practise pull out a peir of gloves, or even money and sit on them, youll know your doing it right if it dosn't fall back.
For the way you sit, the way I was taught it was you should look like you have a string going down through your head, hips, and toes, they should all be in line.
For number two, they don't care which hand you ride with, just make sure you don't switch.
I keep my left hand down my my side.
Hands should be beside or slightly in beside/infront of the horn for horsemanship. (Both hands. Off hand should mirror rein hand)
Western pleasure is less formal. Drop your off hand and your rein hand should be forward and down to the horse's neck.
When loping, sitting on your back pockets, and relax those thigh muscles, becuase as soon as you grip, you start bounceing. I read it in an Equss magazine. I tried for the trot and it worked, just relax those leg muscles, lol. Try to go with the flow of the horse. Relax your hips and let them sway with horse's walk as a practice thing =]
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