VOLUME 22 • © HORSES For LIFE™
Exercise: The Hands Start Here
One of the differences that we will sometimes see between different
schools of thought on riding and training is how our hands should
behave. Should our hands be completely still, completely
motionless, never interfering with the horse? Riders believe that
being a quiet rider equals being a still, non-moving rider.
Another school believes that their hands have to follow the
motion of the horse with a hand going back and forth to match the
pattern of the horse's head that goes up and down.
Both schools will tell you, though, that the more collected the horse
is the more quiet the hands become. Unfortunately, that last
statement means that for some riders they believe that to achieve
collection they must keep their hands more still and not allow them to
move as much when exactly the opposite is true. Yes, our hands
will appear to be more still, but that is not something that completely
comes from the rider. As the horse evolves, as his training
progresses, then yes, as a change in the carriage of the level of
balance of the horse approaches the third level of balance, the head
nod becomes less noticeable.
There is something that all riders can do no matter what level of
riding they are at, that can prove how quiet their hands will be both
visually to others who are watching and to the horse that they are
First of all, we need to realize, it appears that when we completely
follow the movement of the horse, that movement will diminish, and will
seem less noticeable to others and most importantly that this can come
both from the rider and from the horse.
There is one element, one contribution, that can create a very real difference.
The same contribution from the rider to minimize this movement is a
concept that can be used from the very beginning of the training of the
horse. It also proves to be extremely effective in remedial
training. It is the one thing that if we could get all riders to
change, it could possibly make the greatest difference to the
behaviour, to the movement, and it will most help the horse in the
process of learning how to collect. And it all comes from the
Register for FREE to access one Free Article Each Week!
to HORSES For LIFE™ Online Magazine for full access to the exclusive
and educational articles in every Issue.
Register - Login and then USE
the "Subscribe"button in the left hand menu.
• © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine