Over the last few months I’ve started noticing that my hands weren’t very steady so I decided to ask some of our followers on Instagram for their tips and advice on how I might be able to improve my hands. I got a lot of solid advice on that post so I thought it would be good to share the advice with everyone. Everyone’s account name links to their instagram account so be sure to check them out!
SHORTEN THOSE REINS
wildatlanticrider: You have to be really conscious of it and be strict on yourself.. but start with a shorter rein, that’ll help. My mare takes advantage and will spook if I’m not consistent with the contact. If Coco comes out Of The frame, even with the shorter reins, just keep focusing on your line and riding forward with the steadier contact.. It’ll feel weird at first but practice makes perfect! #alsoaownerofaspookymare – Wild Atlantic Rider is a fellow blogger so be sure to check her out!
d_foran02: Shorten reins and lift your hands up and forwards. Encourage her to follow your hands and lift her frame a bit more in front. Also second making sure she’s really listening to your leg and bending her body around it. Hands are just for slight flexion changes so should remain quiet majority of the time. If she pops off the bit use your leg to encourage her back on to it and try avoid using your hands unless she really distracted. It helps keep a steady frame in the long run but kills you
ITS ALL IN THE ELBOW
jennie_connell: Reins a little shorter and hands a bit in front of you and allow the elbow to open and close when rising and sitting.
insidetrackeventing: Soft elbows – if you keep your elbows fixed there is no give and your hands won’t move with the horse. Its something that comes as you get stronger in your core – another fellow blogger, Inside Track Eventing!
IMPROVE THAT LOWER LEG
sarahburritt: …to improve your flat work you should first start with your seat and lower leg because the movement in the hands and upper body often comes from instability in the lower leg. I recommend starting with dropping your stirrups a hole or two and work on extending the leg because you’ve got room to go there for a very nice look and you need to build lower leg strength and not use your heels to apply a on and off stabbing pressure. It will be hard and you will feel a little unstable the first couple times but you will build lower leg strength and a nicer position, take more breaks if needed but try to hold your leg on and really think about straight lines between you thumb to wrist to elbow and shoulders to hips to ankles.
HANDY (excuse the pun) TIPS
laurensmyth93: Hold a whip horizontal under both thumbs 🙂 did the job for me!
smarty_marty_: Remembering thumbs on top, keeping an even contact on both reins and elbows by your side. Ride the contact from the leg…
becksbackinthesaddle: One of the things that I learned is opening and closing my elbows – I never knew you were meant to do it! One of the exercises that I have doing on the lunge is threading my little fingers through a loop (threaded through the d rings on the saddle) in trot. It gives you a senses of how much opening and closing your elbows need to do just to keep your hands still. – Last but not least of the bloggers, Becks Back in the Saddle!
SOME OF THE MORE AMUSING SUGGESTIONS…
danger_byrne: Hold a cup of scalding tea in each hand , and you definitely won’t move your hands
rayconnolly2157: Furry handcuffs maybe …
I definitely found a lot of this advice very helpful (although maybe not the furry handcuffs). I’ve slowly started seeing an improvement in my hands and my contact on the reins so thank you to everyone for the advice!
Have you got any tips for improving your hand position? Make sure to share in the comments!
Thanks for reading,