Im so frustrated with my left hand! I grew up riding dressage and had no weird problems with my hands back then. Switched to "hunters" for IHSA and a few years after college where I really didnt use my hands much and now that Im back to dressage, i have discovered that my left hand has control issues. Its like a lobster claw clamped down on the reins and wants to be all the way back at my hip and wants to break at the wrist. When going to the left, we get beautiful engagement, forward, first level on the bit, lifting, it feels amazing! Once we go to the right, its terrible. She's counterbent and wants to come to the inside. My right left leg is working overtime to try to keep her on the rail but she basically ignores it. We might get a true right bend but it only lasts for a few strides before she starts to come to the inside and then I feel like I MUST pull on that left rein to keep her over. Its like OCD with hand! If I dont pull her over, she keeps coming in until we are basically trotting a badly shaped 10 meter circle. I can go on a lose rein, around the arena and use my right leg to keep her over and to steer around circles without problems but once I start to ask for a bend, forget it. She comes in, my leg doesnt work, and left hand must take over.
I feel that it must stem from my mild case of scoliosis and her right stifle. Going left is great because my ribs and hips are naturally turned to the left, my left hand loves to take over and ask bending, flexion, my left leg is longer and stronger, AND her best way of going is the left. Once we turn though, its hard for me to turn my body to the right, keep my leg on, and tell my left hand to shut up. Ive been taking lessons for the past 6 months and my body work has gotton so much better and combined with pilates, Im riding a lot more centered and balanced but that left hand is really holding us back.
Any tips? Its probably a combination of right leg not being strong enough but the left hand really is a problem.
Perhaps one of those orthopedic wrist braces would help. It would prevent overbending of the wrist, and its sheer annoyance factor would remind you to make it behave. Then you would need to deal with your elbow only.
I have ridden in one as a result of wrist pain, and find it does not hinder proper function.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
It most likely is from your scoliosis. I will tell you that dressage cured my mid thoracic scoliosis, So there is hope. Instead of focusing on your hand focus on your core And feeling the connection to the bit all the way back into your left oblique abdominal