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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    1,114

    Default OTTB training exercise: WOW.

    I just tried some new stuff with my OTTB... a refresher for me, and new to him. It definitely wasn't rocket science, just working on the basics, but the difference was so immediate in one schooling session I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner!

    To get the bend, it just meant turning your palm upwards for turning on the direct rein, and to ask for flexion and a rounder outline, keep your hands slightly above the bit, especially when you have a giraffe neck in front of you, and then give through the hand immediately as a reward.

    Just... wow. I'm still in shock it was so easy and worked so darned well. (Here was the link to the original clinic review by another rider, and what I did/how it worked for me.)

    http://www.myhorsechat.com/2012/05/2...lems-try-this/

    What I don't understand... is WHY does turning your palm upward work so well? Is there some secret effect on the horse's mouth/changes your body position/secret voodoo magic that makes it work like it does?
    Last edited by WW_Queen; May. 23, 2012 at 08:02 PM.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2000
    Posts
    9,549

    Default

    I recently watched a rider struggle with keeping her horse soft and connected and stretched through the topline while turning. The horse wanted to either put its head up or lean on the bit and prop on the inside shoulder while drifting out through the outside shoulder. Instructor told the rider to slightly rotate the inside hand so her thumb was pointing in the direction she wanted to go - same action you mention as "turning the palm upward". It worked like a charm - horse stayed round, elastic and soft, and not falling on the inside shoulder. Rider was amazed and thrilled to have learned this "secret". I'm not sure I have figured out the mechanics of why it worked, but it apparently did.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2009
    Location
    Summerville SC
    Posts
    329

    Default

    My guess is that is stops tension from the rider and because the horse has nothing to lean against, he is unable to brace.

    It takes two to brace! And it is particularly very easy to brace without knowing it on an ottb.

    I just had a lesson yesterday on an ottb and was reminded again it takes two to brace. It's amazing how easy our down transitions became when I stopped the tension on my body and tension on the inside rein



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2006
    Location
    Stoystown, PA
    Posts
    1,887

    Default

    I think it's a way to get the rider from pulling back and using too much inside rein.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,547

    Wink

    It is harder to lock and be rigid with your wrist rotated that way.

    So much of a soft hand is in small relaxations in the elbows, forearm, and wrists, along with soft but closed fingers.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Oxford, PA
    Posts
    1,440

    Default

    Rotating the inside thumb away from the neck and pointing it in the direction you are going uncrosses the radius and the ulna (long bones in the lower arm) and opens and brings the rider's inside shoulder back. This softens the forearm and positions the rider's upper body in a way to facilitate the bend and softening of the inside of the horse.
    "You post all your drama on Facebook and get mad when people judge you? You're a special kind of stupid, aren't you?"



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,714

    Default

    What you described isn't bend, it's flexion. Bend doesn't come from the hand.
    It changes the action of a snaffle and allows energy to go all the way back into your lats
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    13,384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WW_Queen View Post
    I just tried some new stuff with my OTTB... a refresher for me, and new to him. It definitely wasn't rocket science, just working on the basics, but the difference was so immediate in one schooling session I am kicking myself for not trying it sooner!

    To get the bend, it just meant turning your palm upwards for turning on the direct rein, and to ask for a softer jaw and rounder outline, keep your hands slightly above the bit, especially when you have a giraffe neck in front of you, and then give through the hand immediately as a reward.

    Just... wow. I'm still in shock it was so easy and worked so darned well. (Here was the link to the original clinic review by another rider, and what I did/how it worked for me.)

    http://www.myhorsechat.com/2012/05/2...lems-try-this/

    What I don't understand... is WHY does turning your palm upward work so well? Is there some secret effect on the horse's mouth/changes your body position/secret voodoo magic that makes it work like it does?
    That's "Turning the Key"!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcH2XVNSAUI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VytQU...hannel&list=UL
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2006
    Location
    Stoystown, PA
    Posts
    1,887

    Default

    Yep!
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
    Location
    Andover, MA
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    5,691

    Default

    "Turning the key" definitely. And it works! My only problem with this is that, well, my thighs are seriously huge and my whip gets in the way. I would like to work back to using mild spurs and no whip, but have some leg stability issues to work on first, unless I want an explosion underneath me!
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2001
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    6,126

    Default

    The rider can do this minutely w/o whipping the horse, merely use a slightly opening rein then a little. There are several reasons turning the key in the lock 'works'. Flat hands cross the bones of the arm over, and take the elbows away from the body. Turning the thumb over stabilizes the elbow, it makes the 'funnel you are riding into larger, it raises the hand slightly, it closes the elbows to the trunk, AND it PREVENTS the use of a fist steadily against the mouth. For the horse, it works on the corners of the mouth (rather than bars...esp if the horse is up/open in the first place) to mobilize the jaw, and rarely will the rider get STUCK there. It is to establish FLEXION (laterally...although light longitudinal flexion can be a added benefit because of the relaxation)...and has been said the actions of the inside rein are for flexion, NOT bend (bend originates in the seat and/or placement of the legs).
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2011
    Location
    Upatoi, GA
    Posts
    622

    Default

    My old instructor always said "hitch hiker thumbs through the turns!"
    Really great visualization helped me make this a habit!
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
    Take us to print!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    1,114

    Default

    Whoops on the bend/flexion mix-up...it was late when I wrote it! Will be sure to go back and correct.

    "Turning the key" sounds familiar, I have definitely heard that description before.

    I am planning on grabbing this guy's book, I was just so impressed with how effective his exercises were! Has anyone done a clinic with him before?
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,475

    Default

    Jane Savoie talks about turning the key in leg yielding. I do it, it works. I haven't used it in turning, I'll have to play with it....So LY from centerline to the right hand long side, turn the key with your left hand, look where you intend to land on the rail (let's say M), and encourage both forward and right with your body and legs while maintaining/massaging that left-hand turned key posture...your right hand is still holding it's little chicken in a head's up position (mixing keys and Sally Swift)....



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2000
    Posts
    1,827

    Default

    Thanks, p'storejunkie and Ideayoda... the OP is describing flexion, not bend.

    Flexion is the first step to bend, and it is the application of bending and/or turning aids on top of the flexion that will make for a good-quality bend or turn or whatever.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,187

    Default

    this is what I'm working on, and I'm looking forward to trying 'turning the key'.
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

    http://www.patricianorciadressage.com/



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2011
    Posts
    1,188

    Default

    It is a Saumur thing. Works like a charm.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2012
    Posts
    14

    Default

    I'm going to try this too! I have developed an awful habit of keeping my arms thrust forward, with my elbows locked. I'm working on keeping those elbows by my waist and getting a softer elbow that can give and take, but I tend to get super tense because I'm not used to keeping contact with my arms so far back. As a result, we completely lose it around bends. Our circles just get smaller and smaller, and they actually start looking more like squares because we are both stiff as a board haha. We've done a lot of work on flexion in the past few days though, and he is really starting to give his jaw to the bit at the walk. It's when we trot that I tense up like I've been electrocuted and everything falls apart... hopefully "turning the key" will help us out!



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