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Handsy

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  • #21
    Originally posted by ToN Farm View Post

    The other thing I've personally found, is if you start riding with a new trainer and they insist on changing your equitation and technique, it brings on stiffness. You'll be trying to hold/fix your hands low and still, and other things will suffer. jmo
    Or, she'll learn how to ride with a more forward hand and find that the horse becomes less stiff? No way to know without knowing how the OP is currently riding and whether she's does actually have an independent seat and can therefore easily adjust how she uses her hands.

    I suppose I would be considered a handsy rider, and I do not equate that to being a rider that interferes with the horse with my hands. Until horses are into ideal connection and straightness, using the hands for flexion and counter flexion and other things are beneficial imo. I have also observed that people that fixate on looking at a rider's hands are most often people that miss focusing on more important things. It's similar to those that look at BTV instead of how the horse is moving.
    Maybe not a good analogy, since I think it's been pretty clearly shown that horses who are btv are on their forehands. I suppose whether that applies here depends on what one means by "handsy"?


    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by ToN Farm View Post
      Well, there is how "I" personally would handle the situation and there is how "you" should handle it. I can't speak for you because I do not know you, your horse, how you ride, how the eventing trainer teaches or rides, etc.

      Mostly all of us could improve our equitation. That said, for me personally I would not be paying to take lessons on a horse other than my own unless that horse was going to teach me some new movements and how to ride them. It takes a very long time and many repetitions in order to break a bad riding habit. If you do have a handsy issue, it isn't going to be corrected in a handful of lessons with this eventing trainer. It may call to your attention how bad the habit is, if the horse doesn't tolerate your riding. So, there's that.

      *********Sometimes it simply takes a single demonstration, to indicate to a rider the extent of their problem, or the lack of a problem .Then the teacher can teach the rider on their horse how to use their body, so that the use of hand is diminished.

      The other thing I've personally found, is if you start riding with a new trainer and they insist on changing your equitation and technique, it brings on stiffness. You'll be trying to hold/fix your hands low and still, and other things will suffer. jmo

      *********Teaching a rider to use their hands less really has only a little to do with their hands, and more to do with the use of their body. Nor do hands need to necessarily be carried low and still. some riders need to get them up, together, and giving. See the recent thread on elbows.

      I suppose I would be considered a handsy rider, and I do not equate that to being a rider that interferes with the horse with my hands. Until horses are into ideal connection and straightness, using the hands for flexion and counter flexion and other things are beneficial imo. I have also observed that people that fixate on looking at a rider's hands are most often people that miss focusing on more important things. It's similar to those that look at BTV instead of how the horse is moving.

      ***********Initially using an opening rein with a young horse is necessary, gradually as the rider repetitiously uses their body in conjunction with that rein, it becomes less necessary. Yes, the hands in conjunction with the upper body are used with flexion, but that too requires the use of the leg, and seat, as does counter flexion.

      ***********A good instructor can explain and teach all this on any horse, it just takes longer and is sometimes harder on a uneducated horse.

      ***********And too, it depends on the determination of the rider to do the necessary reps, and muscle memory.
      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by kande04 View Post

        Or, she'll learn how to ride with a more forward hand and find that the horse becomes less stiff? No way to know without knowing how the OP is currently riding and whether she's does actually have an independent seat and can therefore easily adjust how she uses her hands.



        Maybe not a good analogy, since I think it's been pretty clearly shown that horses who are btv are on their forehands. I suppose whether that applies here depends on what one means by "handsy"?

        This is a simplification. Much as I dislike the horse being BTV, it is possible to find horses in correct collection with their heads a little BTV, on the vertical, and in front of the vertical, high or low. You need to look at the hind end and way of moving. The problem arises when people think that merely making the horse curl his neck equates to collection and that the overbent means desirable roundness, and they let the horse fall on the forehand. I see that a lot with backyard dressage riders. But I have also seen horses with correct body posture roll BTV momentarily and not fall on the forehand.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by kande04 View Post
          Maybe not a good analogy, since I think it's been pretty clearly shown that horses who are btv are on their forehands. I suppose whether that applies here depends on what one means by "handsy"?
          I don’t know where you get your info but the tip of the horse’s nose has nothing to do with it being on the forehand or not.

          Like, a horse that is above the vertical with its head lifted as high as you like it won’t be sitting more... it could very well be stiff, hollow in the back and as on the forehand as possible.

          What is important is what is going on with the rear end.
          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

          Originally posted by LauraKY
          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
          HORSING mobile training app

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          • #25
            Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

            I don’t know where you get your info but the tip of the horse’s nose has nothing to do with it being on the forehand or not.
            Oh, but it does, because when the tip of the nose is btv the poll is dropped, and when the poll is dropped the connection between the front and back of the horse is interrupted, which makes it that much harder for the horse to lift his withers.. It's easy enough to see. The more btv the horse gets, the harder it is for him to lift his front end.

            What's important is what's going on with the entire horse, and whether the result is actually correct or is some bastardized version of correct.
            Last edited by kande04; Nov. 18, 2019, 08:31 AM.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by kande04 View Post

              Oh, but it does, because when the tip of the nose is btv the poll is dropped, and when the poll is dropped the connection between the front and back of the horse is interrupted, which makes it that much harder for the horse to lift his withers.. It's easy enough to see. The more btv the horse gets, the harder it is for him to lift his front end.

              What's important is what's going on with the entire horse, and whether the result is actually correct or is some bastardized version of correct.
              I get where this information is coming from. I ride with a French classical instructor and BTV is absolutely forbidden. But we do ride our finished horses on the vertical. And it is not true that a moment of BTV necessarily throws the horse on the forehand if it is carrying itself well.

              Yes, I see lots of low level riders IRL riding their horses way overbent falljng on the forehand and being proud they are "round," in other words missing the plot entirely. I also see video of high level riders throwing their horses on the forehand to get flashy front legs with trailing hocks. But in both cases it's a whole body problem not a head problem per se.

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                I get where this information is coming from. I ride with a French classical instructor and BTV is absolutely forbidden.
                I suspect that's because they're actually interested in getting and maintaining collection?

                But we do ride our finished horses on the vertical. And it is not true that a moment of BTV necessarily throws the horse on the forehand if it is carrying itself well.

                But in both cases it's a whole body problem not a head problem per se.
                I don't see otv as a problem, and agree that btv wouldn't be a problem if it didn't affect the rest of the horse, but it does. Whether a moment of btv, or a slight dip btv indicates a significant loss of balance probably depends on how far btv for how long.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Back to the OP. You most likely are handsy. Most of us are, because the natural instinct to balance or fix anything among humans is to use our hands. These days, if you truly ride a horse to the ideal of classical training you will sometimes have a horse coming above the bit, not only coming behind it. For whatever reason, right now above the bit is hit far harder in scoring in actual competitions, at least based on my dozens of times scribing, and affects both movement and cumulative scores. So the public in general does not pay enough attention to handsiness, and it is HARD to solve. I have a good seat, and have no problem riding on a looped rein. However, on contact I still have hand issues and can be too handsy or I brace in trying to counter that natural tendency. It is the single thing my trainer and I work on most.

                  *If* riding this horse shows you are handsy, you have been given a gift of honesty. It sounds as if it were given in a matter of fact way, but news you didn't want to receive. If that's the case, you have to decide if you want to improve from whatever level of rider you are now to a great one - and if you want to be a great rider, you need to ride with someone who will call you on your hands as well as other flaws.
                  If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
                  -meupatdoes

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Years ago I had a new coach snap at me during our first lesson "DO NOT SEE-SAW MY HORSE" and I just about cried. I was trying to counter-flex then go back to true flexion because the horse felt really stiff to me. I did the change in flexion once and didn't think it was a see-saw fast pull, but her observation was valid. I think most of us could learn to use less hands, or softer, more dynamic hands. It's still a challenge for me to keep a soft contact and giving feel without dropping the contact entirely or letting the reins get pulled long at times. I like the feedback of "letting the horse take me around the ring" and "driving down the line", so I really think back-to-front in energy when I'm trying to get the horse more through.

                    My early instructors would have us work at a halt or walk to get flexion in the jaw before moving onto trot, and sometimes I think this got me thinking the wrong way in terms of how to get the horse to lighten up (I have better luck getting them really active behind these days, and using that energy to go over the back and "through").

                    All that to say, as others have mentioned, try not to take the critique personally. It can always sound like an insult, since none of us ever want to think we're being handsy or cruel on the horse's mouth. The reality is that it's a natural inclination and something so many of us have to constantly learn to avoid. You can't ride dressage without contact, so you can't do it with no hands, and from there you just have to figure out the balance of using the right amount of hands.

                    I would probably ask the instructor to clarify exactly what she means by "handsy" and see if she can give you an example of something to work on. I wouldn't like "handsy" as feedback because for me it's not specific enough to know what I need to change in the moment. Taking too much contact on the reins? Reins getting too long so they're pulling back towards your body or crossing over the neck? Getting too busy/quick/dramatic with flexion aids? Having a "death grip" instead of a playful feel? Try to suss out for specifics to know what to work on exactly - that might help it feel more constructive.
                    Mr. Sandman
                    sand me a man
                    make him so sandy
                    the sandiest man

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by the sandiest shoes View Post
                      Years ago I had a new coach snap at me during our first lesson "DO NOT SEE-SAW MY HORSE" and I just about cried. I was trying to counter-flex then go back to true flexion because the horse felt really stiff to me. I did the change in flexion once and didn't think it was a see-saw fast pull, but her observation was valid. I think most of us could learn to use less hands, or softer, more dynamic hands. It's still a challenge for me to keep a soft contact and giving feel without dropping the contact entirely or letting the reins get pulled long at times. I like the feedback of "letting the horse take me around the ring" and "driving down the line", so I really think back-to-front in energy when I'm trying to get the horse more through.

                      My early instructors would have us work at a halt or walk to get flexion in the jaw before moving onto trot, and sometimes I think this got me thinking the wrong way in terms of how to get the horse to lighten up (I have better luck getting them really active behind these days, and using that energy to go over the back and "through").

                      All that to say, as others have mentioned, try not to take the critique personally. It can always sound like an insult, since none of us ever want to think we're being handsy or cruel on the horse's mouth. The reality is that it's a natural inclination and something so many of us have to constantly learn to avoid. You can't ride dressage without contact, so you can't do it with no hands, and from there you just have to figure out the balance of using the right amount of hands.

                      I would probably ask the instructor to clarify exactly what she means by "handsy" and see if she can give you an example of something to work on. I wouldn't like "handsy" as feedback because for me it's not specific enough to know what I need to change in the moment. Taking too much contact on the reins? Reins getting too long so they're pulling back towards your body or crossing over the neck? Getting too busy/quick/dramatic with flexion aids? Having a "death grip" instead of a playful feel? Try to suss out for specifics to know what to work on exactly - that might help it feel more constructive.
                      This is right on.

                      I once had an instructor tell me that I had "an electric seat." I had never heard the phrase, didn't know whether it was good or bad ( but I suspected that it was very bad!) and the instructor didn't tell me what it was or how to fix it.

                      I should have asked, instead of feeling intimidated and confused.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        I thought I responded to this after the lesson, but apparently it didn't go through.

                        I had the lesson with Eventing trainer on her lesson horse. No mention of hands. Main issue was horse was built very downhill, so needed me to really keep my upper half back (i do tend to be slightly too forward with my upper body when nervous, and I get nervous/tense at lessons).

                        Took the lesson on same horse but with Dressage trainer a couple of days later. Since the horse was really stiff/arthritic, we worked on exercises to loosen the horse up. Had some improved swingy trot toward the end. Nothing earth shattering. Horse improved over the course of the lesson, but I didn't feel like I changed my riding any. I picked up some good exercises for how to help my new project horse, and some discussions on exercises to get my other horse ready for flying changes this spring.

                        No mention of hands, arms, elbows by either trainer.

                        I went in to both lessons with the attitude of whatever they said, I would absorb and change to become a better rider. Open mind. No ego.

                        I don't feel anything about independent seat, hands, arms, whatever was addressed.

                        So either, it's really not a big issue like eventing trainer claims (her horse that would "teach" me not to be handsy never once complained) or two different trainers took my money and didn't teach me correctly.

                        ...

                        I learned dressage by being put on a lunge line for nearly a year first. Then I was a working student for an upper level trainer for 4 more years. I'm not THAT crappy of a rider that I balance on the reins. I'm not upper level good, I'm just AA dedicated, works hard at getting better and works out, decent.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          The win here is the open mind and the willingness to learn and don't get upset at what people say abd believe in yourself.

                          We do ride different horses differently. I have been going to my instructor for a long time now. He can say anything to me.

                          Not long ago he said my hands are moving so much I am conducting an orchestra in canter. Yes on a green horse, but I really worked on keeping them still after that as you don't know what habits are creeping in.

                          I was not surprise when a clinician said something about my hands moving in canter after that. I saw the video and one hand moved to prove the rein!
                          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I actually find everything about this eventing trainer to be in poor taste. Is she trying to steal you from the other trainer? Is she trying to undermine the other trainer's work? Sure seems like it to me. I'd steer very clear of her. Just my thought.

                            Maybe you are handsy, maybe not. It never hurts to work on improving something. Get some video of yourself riding and really look at your hands. What are they doing? It took a video someone sent me (as a beginner btw) to show me just how much movement I had in my hands. But if you're riding with so many upper level instructors, I'm sure someone else would have made mention. I'd file all this away as red flag/toxic trainer/stay away.
                            "I am but a passenger on this ship"
                            -- Stendal (epitaph)

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Core6430 View Post

                              I went in to both lessons with the attitude of whatever they said, I would absorb and change to become a better rider. Open mind. No ego.

                              I don't feel anything about independent seat, hands, arms, whatever was addressed.

                              So either, it's really not a big issue like eventing trainer claims (her horse that would "teach" me not to be handsy never once complained) or two different trainers took my money and didn't teach me correctly.

                              ...

                              Thanks for the update. Interesting that the 'handsy' issue never came up. Maybe eventing trainer just saw you on a bad day/moment and it never was an actual problem, or by going into the lesson already being much more aware of your hands, they became better. Did you ask eventing trainer directly about it?

                              Its a shame you don't have video of both lessons to watch back and self-critique. I forget if you mentioned if one or both instructors are your regular, trusted trainers. I have certainly had some lessons on school horses with trainers I decided NOT to work with since the lesson was really more about exercising their horse as opposed to working on me. One trainer basically chatted on the rail with her buddies while she had me put a new school horse through his paces. Aside from a few "heels down" comments I got zero instruction. I was just getting back into horses at the time and had not ridden in years, so I know there was plenty I was rusty on. I never went back to that barn.

                              Now, this is a far cry from what you experienced, but sometimes trainers get complacent if they figure that you know enough to be competent and won't push you to be better. I'd rather be picked apart for every detail than have a trainer who just coasts and ignores flaws/ bad habits as long as you get the horse moving well enough.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by BatCoach View Post


                                Thanks for the update. Interesting that the 'handsy' issue never came up. Maybe eventing trainer just saw you on a bad day/moment and it never was an actual problem, or by going into the lesson already being much more aware of your hands, they became better. Did you ask eventing trainer directly about it?

                                Its a shame you don't have video of both lessons to watch back and self-critique. I forget if you mentioned if one or both instructors are your regular, trusted trainers. I have certainly had some lessons on school horses with trainers I decided NOT to work with since the lesson was really more about exercising their horse as opposed to working on me. One trainer basically chatted on the rail with her buddies while she had me put a new school horse through his paces. Aside from a few "heels down" comments I got zero instruction. I was just getting back into horses at the time and had not ridden in years, so I know there was plenty I was rusty on. I never went back to that barn.

                                Now, this is a far cry from what you experienced, but sometimes trainers get complacent if they figure that you know enough to be competent and won't push you to be better. I'd rather be picked apart for every detail than have a trainer who just coasts and ignores flaws/ bad habits as long as you get the horse moving well enough.
                                Going for my level 1, we used to go to places to instruct and we would ride in other instructor's lessons.

                                I cannot put my heels down. I have short Achilles tendons. Take a beginner and put them on a horse and they can put their heels down better than me.

                                I could tell a good instructor from a bad one. A good instructor would tell me to put my heels down once, maybe twice and spend the rest of the lesson on something else they can see.

                                A bad instructor was not skilled enough to see anything else wrong. I would have whole lessons on only telling me to put my heels down
                                It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  It's hard to tell if the OP is just easily offended or if the trainer is out of line. I've been to some clinics and the riders are only there to be told they look pretty on a horse, they aren't there for actual instruction. They are there to tell other people they rode with so and so. Sometimes clinicians have no filters.

                                  I've also had instructors really upset me. I had one tell me my posting trot was ruined for dressage by all my jumping saddle years and I would never learn how to post the trot correctly so I must sit. I hammered around on my green horse's back for 30 minutes with my body held rigidly in the ideal position waiting for my horse to put its head down, which it wouldn't. Then I cried and cried and never went back.
                                  http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                    It's hard to tell if the OP is just easily offended or if the trainer is out of line. I've been to some clinics and the riders are only there to be told they look pretty on a horse, they aren't there for actual instruction. They are there to tell other people they rode with so and so. Sometimes clinicians have no filters.

                                    I've also had instructors really upset me. I had one tell me my posting trot was ruined for dressage by all my jumping saddle years and I would never learn how to post the trot correctly so I must sit. I hammered around on my green horse's back for 30 minutes with my body held rigidly in the ideal position waiting for my horse to put its head down, which it wouldn't. Then I cried and cried and never went back.
                                    Idiot clinician. You can not do sitting trot on a horse until they have the muscle and invite you to sit. A green horse you want to get off its back and encorage it forward. I am glad you never went back.

                                    My instructor told me when I was crying and worrying that I had wrecked my horse in a lesson, that it is only good riders that care who cry. He mused that those who really hurt horses never cry and never seem to care.
                                    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                      It's hard to tell if the OP is just easily offended or if the trainer is out of line. I've been to some clinics and the riders are only there to be told they look pretty on a horse, they aren't there for actual instruction. They are there to tell other people they rode with so and so. Sometimes clinicians have no filters.

                                      I've also had instructors really upset me. I had one tell me my posting trot was ruined for dressage by all my jumping saddle years and I would never learn how to post the trot correctly so I must sit. I hammered around on my green horse's back for 30 minutes with my body held rigidly in the ideal position waiting for my horse to put its head down, which it wouldn't. Then I cried and cried and never went back.
                                      I'm not very easily insulted. I was former Marine. I've ridden with some trainers that others said were too mean, but I thought they were hilarious. I like blunt. I like honest above everything else. Just lay it on me straight. 🙂

                                      I don't want to bad mouth any trainer. I'll leave it at: I would NOT choose to take dressage lessons from her. I was taking advantage of the access to the Dressage trainer through eventing trainer.

                                      I find the comment about lacking an independent seat insulting, because to me that means she thinks I'm a sh*t rider. The worst rider. Beginner level, stop torturing the poor horse, you need lunge seat lessons for a solid year, type bad.

                                      If I avoid the eventing trainer then i lose access to the dressage trainer that she brings in for lessons. I like this dressage trainer. I'm struggling with how to deal with being judged harshly by the eventing trainer every time I want to take a lesson with the dressage trainer.

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by BatCoach View Post

                                        Thanks for the update. Interesting that the 'handsy' issue never came up. Maybe eventing trainer just saw you on a bad day/moment and it never was an actual problem, or by going into the lesson already being much more aware of your hands, they became better. Did you ask eventing trainer directly about it?
                                        I should've asked. I assumed with all the hoopla about it that it'd be the focus, since she specifically put me on THAT horse because it would tattle on me if I was handsy. I rode it like I ride my horse.

                                        Originally posted by BatCoach View Post
                                        Its a shame you don't have video of both lessons to watch back and self-critique. I forget if you mentioned if one or both instructors are your regular, trusted trainers. I have certainly had some lessons on school horses with trainers I decided NOT to work with since the lesson was really more about exercising their horse as opposed to working on me. One trainer basically chatted on the rail with her buddies while she had me put a new school horse through his paces. Aside from a few "heels down" comments I got zero instruction. I was just getting back into horses at the time and had not ridden in years, so I know there was plenty I was rusty on. I never went back to that barn.

                                        Now, this is a far cry from what you experienced, but sometimes trainers get complacent if they figure that you know enough to be competent and won't push you to be better. I'd rather be picked apart for every detail than have a trainer who just coasts and ignores flaws/ bad habits as long as you get the horse moving well enough.
                                        I've only had a few lessons (3 or 4?) with the dressage trainer. We're still feeling each other out.

                                        I'd rather be picked apart also. Especially for my position. That's why I didn't care if I rode someone else's horse. I figured she could hammer me on my position or timing (whatevrer) without really needing to focus on the horse improving. But other than dropping my stirrup a hole, it was exercises to get the horse straight and more supple. Which was fine too. Helped me see some things I could use on one of mine, and was a good lesson in feeling where the crookedness came from.

                                        I'm not sure whether I should just scrap the whole situation and try a different dressage trainer, or ignore the eventing trainer and stick with the dressage trainer I'm using now. I need the eventing trainer to like me so that I can access the dressage trainer. If i make eventing trainer mad, I can't access the dressage trainer.

                                        I don't want to take lessons from the eventing trainer. I don't fully trust her knowledge of dressage training. She seems like a good eventing trainer though.

                                        i don't know.. maybe I should just find a new dressage trainer and skip the drama of eventing trainer saying i suck.
                                        Last edited by Core6430; Dec. 29, 2019, 08:39 AM. Reason: Formatting

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                                        • #40
                                          Core6430 I say trust your gut. I've had that feeling about someone before (that they just maybe didn't know as much as they said about the subject) it was also an eventer. I stuck it out for months and things just weren't working. I had a BNT I really respect tell me to drop her and that she was confused about dressage. She could talk the talk, just didn't have any real life experience using it.

                                          Now that I'm away, it's even more clear on social media. She's great around a jump! Can tune people's jumping position. But in Dressage, she seems lost and none of her students are progressing much.

                                          Is there any way you could meet the Dressage trainer at another barn? Have her come to you? Or yes maybe just find someone else. I wouldn't pay to train with someone you don't like to ride with (the eventer.) Even if it's just a personality difference. Life is too short!

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