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  1. #1
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    Question Hand placement - elbow/hand/bit thing of the past says Robert Gage

    Now I am not trying to argue with Robert Gage, but I am having a hard time picturing what he us describing here:


    A straight line is something of the past. Good riding is good riding, but equitation changes from year to year. Right now, it is acceptable for a rider to have the line from their elbows through their wrists aimed a little above the bit….almost towards the horse’s eye balls. The rider should have their wrists slightly above their forearms and fingers by having a little bend at their wrists, so their hands point a little downwards…..almost in line with their horse’s shoulders. Forearms point towards the horse’s head, and hands point down the shoulders. Elbows IN FRONT of the rider’s tummy.


    Does anyone have any thoughts on this, or any pictures that clearly illustrates his description?



  2. #2
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    No, but I'd love to hear his reasoning on this. I can't understand how this broken line would increase communication through the reins. Of course, I also take exception to the statement, "... but equitation changes from year to year." Really? I don't think so. Good riders may change their styles from horse to horse to get the job done, but IMHO equitation doesn't change. How it (the basic form) is used may change to achieve the desired result (form follows function) but what Mr. Gage describes comes close to 'piano hands' which were never very effective.
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  3. #3
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    I think, perhaps, this is what he's describing: http://www.chronofhorse.com/sites/de...s/DSC_3623.JPG



  4. #4
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    I'm trying to figure out how to get my elbows in front of my tummy.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.



  5. #5
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    Thia - that looks almost opposite from what Mr. Gage is saying, but maybe not?...



  6. #6
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    I have heard this before- at a previous barn the trainer (a former big name in the NE eq circuit) had us carry our elbows with what felt like 90 degree angle (probably closer to 50) with thumbs pointing forward and down. She never did say why but she did say it was 'in fashion'...
    -JustWorld International-



  7. #7
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    I don't agree. Put your opposite hand lightly over your wrist. Hold your wrist in the "neutral" position- with a straight plane from hand to forearm. Now bend the wrist forward (as Mr. Gage seems to suggest). And bend the wrist back to have a "broken wrist". In both of the last two positions, you can FEEL the stiffness. Not a good thing.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Ridge View Post
    I think, perhaps, this is what he's describing: http://www.chronofhorse.com/sites/de...s/DSC_3623.JPG
    Do. NOT. Like. 'Nuff said.



  9. #9
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    But equitation styles do change over time. If you look at, say, Jane Dillon's books from the 60's, you will see a lower leg with the foot against the inner branch of the stirrup and the toes out more than would be considered ideal today. Also her books advocate strongly for the automatic release as the pinnacle of achievement for jumping and equitation.

    Obviously that is no longer the case and GM's book of equitation had many modifications from that previous style.
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  10. #10
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    It may be a thing of the past in the Jumper arena but it shouldn't be in the equitation classes.
    ~~Some things are true whether you believe them or not~~

    *Member of the "I hate the crest release" clique*



  11. #11
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    I dunno, styles do change and just because there is a straight line there does not mean the rider is effective, giving the horse the freedom to use it's neck or reacting to the motion of the horse's body. Fact I think many put too much emphasis on geometry for the sake of a straight line and not enough on what is actually effective riding. And effective riding is different depending on situation, terrain (or lack thereof) and that horse on that day on that course over that fence.

    He does say it's OK to have the elbows more forward then I care for and I disagree on the wrist-weaker and certainly not what the top clinicians currently teach.

    But I don't see any mention of the shoulders also being forward and also suspect we may have a contextual problem here. I would like to see his entire remarks, not just the excerpt.

    May have been getting at defining effective riding by just looking for that straight line at the expense of actual effective riding which consists of many tools and is situationally specific, not cookie cutter.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird! View Post
    Now I am not trying to argue with Robert Gage, but I am having a hard time picturing what he us describing here:


    A straight line is something of the past. Good riding is good riding, but equitation changes from year to year. Right now, it is acceptable for a rider to have the line from their elbows through their wrists aimed a little above the bit….almost towards the horse’s eye balls. The rider should have their wrists slightly above their forearms and fingers by having a little bend at their wrists, so their hands point a little downwards…..almost in line with their horse’s shoulders. Forearms point towards the horse’s head, and hands point down the shoulders. Elbows IN FRONT of the rider’s tummy.


    Does anyone have any thoughts on this, or any pictures that clearly illustrates his description?
    I do agree equitation changes and I think a lot of the changes have been due to the fact the horses are not nearly the same as they were years ago as well as the challenging courses you see in the Eq ring today.

    I understand the picture he is explaining. If you raise your wrist above your forearm it is more of a Dressage position. However, Dressage riders point the thumbs in a upward position. If you allow your wrist to soften out as he explains it doesn't create a stiffness at all. Your elbows in front of your tummy (think) long arm. Hands more forward using your long arm and you reins must be shorter. It creates an independent hand and arm.... I saw this a lot in the GM clinic I watched. I will see if I can find a video or picture of it.
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  13. #13
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    If the pic is indicative of the style, I use it though not as nicely as that rider. Why? Because I have short arms and keeping my elbows next to my sides means that my hands are in my lap. So I have to ride with my arms more in front of my body, I keep my elbows bent and my hands are raised a bit to keep the line between the arm and month soft and connected. When I ride in the classic position, I have a stiff, rigid connection. Luckily I ride hunters so it doesn't matter how it looks, only how it works.
    kenyagirl



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freebird! View Post
    Thia - that looks almost opposite from what Mr. Gage is saying, but maybe not?...
    Yeah, upon re-reading, you're right.

    This, perhaps, http://chronofhorse.com/sites/defaul...HughesFlat.jpg, seems a bit closer.



  15. #15
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    Here is GM elbows are a bit out and his hand would need to be raised -

    http://www.turningpointfarms.com/_Media/mg_9243-4.jpeg

    Nice example of long arms: (elbow in front of the belly)

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/28/63...13d292f11c.jpg

    To have this arm/hand as RG explains your horse must be in balance like a dressage horse.

    And a dressage rider note hand up - but elbow is at the hip...

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/28/63...5fa00fcf37.jpg

    I think why this is happening in the Eq is more and more the Eq horses are going like Dressage horses. It's a pretty picture.
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublesstable View Post

    Nice example of long arms: (elbow in front of the belly)

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/28/63...13d292f11c.jpg
    This pic seems to be a great example of what Gage is describing: forearms pointed toward the horse's head, hands toward the horse's shoulders, elbows in front of the rider's belly.
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  17. #17
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    Does GM typically ride like that picture posted, with hands sort of flat for lack of a more descriptive term? I ask because my husband rides like that and it tends to turn his elbows out a bit. He's a very effective rider, but I often nag him about this. I will quit nagging if GM rides that way.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bayboys View Post
    But equitation styles do change over time. If you look at, say, Jane Dillon's books from the 60's, you will see a lower leg with the foot against the inner branch of the stirrup and the toes out more than would be considered ideal today. Also her books advocate strongly for the automatic release as the pinnacle of achievement for jumping and equitation.

    Obviously that is no longer the case and GM's book of equitation had many modifications from that previous style.
    Interesting statement, especially since Jane Dillion trained Joe Fargis who won the Gold Medal at the Olympics http://arcadiasbest.com/wp-content/u...uchCrop600.jpg
    and GM trained Conrad Homfeld who won the silver medal http://www.equestrianlife.com/mw/ima...ad_Homfeld.png

    BOTH riders had fabulous form, with the automatic release, straight line from the bit to the elbow, AND I personally heard GM lament that you don't see the auto release, and it is a SHAME.

    Gordon Wright who trained GM, called the auto release the Advanced form of jumping release and the crest release as the intermediate form.

    Captain VS Littaur, taught the advanced form, of following hands, or auto release. Bernie Traurig http://www.bernietraurig.com/images/aboutheader.jpgwas one of his students.

    Frank Chapot http://www.showjumpinghalloffame.net.../f_chapot2.jpg
    Former chef d'equipe of the USET, was responsible for the Olympic Gold Medal team in 1984; World Championships in 1986 and the Team Silver Medal in '88, and who trained Greg Best http://media.photobucket.com/image/g...g?t=1269685743 Both Frank Chapot and Greg Best show the advanced form: Following arms, auto release.

    Excellence in equitation has NOT changed. What has changed is those who teach equitation and do not or perhaps can not teach the auto-release.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post

    He does say it's OK to have the elbows more forward then I care for and I disagree on the wrist-weaker and certainly not what the top clinicians currently teach.

    But I don't see any mention of the shoulders also being forward and also suspect we may have a contextual problem here. I would like to see his entire remarks, not just the excerpt.
    Actually, it IS in it's entirety - Someone posted a question, asking what correct hand position should look like, on Judge My Ride, and that was his complete answer. I'm really not trying to pick on Mr Gage, but his answer was not what I've always taught, so I wanted to ask my fellow COTHers what y'all thought.



  20. #20
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    Going out on a limb to say you cannot teach the auto release, better called a following hand. It happens as a result of many other things.

    Chief among those things is a proper base of support on a fit and properly conditioned rider who can hold that base of support who has jumped often enough to react to what the horse needs in that particular situation.

    A properly taught rider who has stepped along from grabbing mane through the various CORRECT crest releases will develop it all by themselves. They will use it as appropriate-and it's not always the best choice, particularly showing how easy a Hunter goes with a big loop in the reins.

    That pic used as an example a few posts up? She may have her wrists flexed a little but she is in no way weak in her position-pretty dam solid looking to me. Fact that horse goes a little high in front and she may well just be reacting to what the horse is doing while maintaining a strong position.

    Think we get too nit picky sometimes and forget to look at what the ride is creating instead of cookie cutter hand position.
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