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Are elbows important?

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  • Are elbows important?

    I am teaching basic dressage to a teen who did mostly jumping. (and continues to jump).

    Her elbows drive me crazy- she turns her knuckles up, elbows out and in a snap she also collapses her frontline. Her parents help her btw lessons on sitting up and elbows in...but...
    here is a youtube of a Jumping ":Guru" and check out his elbows-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UggOc7mVRzY

    how can I harp on a student to ride more square, more "like a dressage rider" when it looks pretty common for jumpers to have their elbows out like monkeys?

    The reasoning I have come up with ( being a dressage rider) I think it looks better, my horses accept contact, it positions your seat to make the horse come uphill, my horses have better turning bending and balance, and I don't use the bit for control, I use my seat!

    Am I missing some key information? anyone understand what I'm going thru?
    Last edited by 17Rider; Sep. 9, 2010, 10:01 AM. Reason: sp

  • #2
    Your video link is a quite interresting choice...

    And no, it is not common for jumpers to have their elbows out like monkeys...we do move them a bit more when jumping, but good riding is good riding and elbows are important and should be at the right place.


    If she wants to do dressage, show her dressage riders.
    ~ 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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 17Rider View Post
      I am teaching basic dressage to a teen who did mostly jumping. (and continues to jump).

      Her elbows drive me crazy- she turns her knuckles up, elbows out and in a snap she also collapses her frontline. Her parents help her btw lessons on sitting up and elbows in...but...
      here is a youtube of a Jumping ":Guru" and check out his elbows-

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UggOc7mVRzY

      how can I harp on a student to ride more square, more "like a dressage rider" when it looks pretty common for jumpers to have their elbows out like monkeys?

      The reasoning I have come up with ( being a dressage rider) I think it looks better, my horses accept contact, it positions your seat to make the horse come uphill, my horses have better turning bending and balance, and I don't use the bit for control, I use my seat!

      Am I missing some key information? anyone understand what I'm going thru?

      hes not a very good rider as a comparison
      as he hanging on the horses head for dear life, and the horses nose band is done up so tight hes uncomfortable so the only way he can shout at the rider to listen i by doing what hes doing and trying to get his head
      also the rider mises a beat in trot and is tilting forwards as hes put all his bodyweight iinto the horses bridle area
      so no he needs to learn how to use his seat and learn to give with his hands and drop the whip


      loook here at helpful links pages and elbows should be in even if jumping

      lots of tips and info read page one and read all links and especailly link 2

      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=178116

      also go to bottom of the pages and do some helpful simple execsies for your pupil and horse all are ideas from cothers

      plus a little more info in ly etc but the site listed has other info as well
      ok

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you coaching her for jumping or for dressage? Some jumping riders find having their elbows "loose" gives them a bigger range of motion which can be needed when jumping as the horse needs to be able to move its head and neck more (as it uses it to balance). The tight at the side elbow can limit/restrict the range of motion and freedom.

        Her hands can still be correct though. Flat hands cross the bones on the forearm, causing a loss in the subtle feel available to the rider. A rider with flat hands will have a much harder time ever feeling the nuances of the horse's mouth.
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

        Comment


        • #5
          I understand you don't deserve to be a trainer. You probably just came on this BB to pick a trainwreck out on the dressage forum. If people actually pay you money for your opinion I feel sorry for them.
          http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            At GLS's critique of the rider in the video.
            http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Heck, I didn't start getting control of my elbows till about 10 years ago, and I'm 56!

              I used to ride with my elbows in such a wonky position that I'd get tendonitis. No excuse, it was just a bad habit.

              Explain to your student that keeping her forearm to back-of-hand line straight makes the connection to the horse's mouth more supple. Have her twist her forearm from the "piano playing" position to the "fingernails up" position, stopping now and then to feel how and when her arms feel more tight or relaxed. When the radius and ulna bones are crossed, the connection to the horse's mouth is disturbed. When they are parallel ( as they are when the thumb is in the "up" position) lines of communication are open.

              Elbows out tightens the muscles of the shoulder and does nothing to support core stability. When she's as experienced as GM then she can commit these little sins of position. Till then, no.

              Sounds like she needs to work on basic core posture, too. Collapsing & rounding the back destroys the ability to go with the movement. H/j riders tend to sit in half-seats -- so their leg joints take up the shock-absorbing duties. That's fine until you try to sit the trot!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                I understand you don't deserve to be a trainer. You probably just came on this BB to pick a trainwreck out on the dressage forum. If people actually pay you money for your opinion I feel sorry for them.
                And I will add: BTW 17Rider, have you finally found the jumping saddle you were looking for and started jumping lessons?
                ~ 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

                Comment


                • #9
                  GLS. That IS George Morris, you are talking about. Since GM is now in his 70's, we must be a little kinder to him, and cut him a little slack.

                  However, that is not a good example of proper arm position,

                  I like to see the upper arms closer to the body, with the elbows bent at an appropriate angle to make a straight line to the bit possible. They must remain flexible, and giving at all times. The forearm should remain relaxed, the wrists with a slight curve inward, and the thumbs up. The fingers should be closed.

                  At no time should any part of the arms, wrist and fingers be rigid. Momentary closing, of the fingers, or flexing of the wrist is possible. This is where the fine art of having "good hands" comes in.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Usually that posture means the reins are too long... At least it's a good place to start with this type...
                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                    ---
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Elbow issues have origins in the shoulders.

                      Fix the shoulders, the elbows nearly fall into place.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Now, I am NOT a fan of GM, but even I can recognize that those are some pretty elastic elbows.

                        He does a great job being a passive rubberband, passively resisting the horse's resistance until the horse accepts his aids.

                        If I were given the choice between riding elastically with my elbows out, or riding un-elastically with my elbows in, I would pick the former.

                        A lot of dressage riders with elbows clamped at their sides waterskiing around could really benefit from trying to develop that elasticity. A lot of dressage riders stuck at first level could really benefit from learning to quietly create acceptance in the contact the way he does.

                        As an instructor, OP, I would hope you would recognize the ride first over the form. Too many instructors teach their students to adopt a pose but not actually ride.
                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                        Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I have gone so far as to use her saddle, and I ride the youngest horse, to feel what she feels...and determine why she does what she does.

                          I prefer dressage saddles, but did a course of 3' for certification. Now when I see GM in this vid, I wonder how much this matters.
                          Why dressage riders "don't do " this kind of elbow- hand contact- doesn't it matter in jumping too. ( Maybe I posted this in the wrong forum).

                          I am totally open to knowing why what works and what doesn't.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 17Rider View Post
                            I have gone so far as to use her saddle, and I ride the youngest horse, to feel what she feels...and determine why she does what she does.

                            I prefer dressage saddles, but did a course of 3' for certification. Now when I see GM in this vid, I wonder how much this matters.
                            Why dressage riders "don't do " this kind of elbow- hand contact- doesn't it matter in jumping too. ( Maybe I posted this in the wrong forum).

                            I am totally open to knowing why what works and what doesn't.
                            Well, you're the instructor.

                            Teach us how YOU would like us to create a positive contact on that horse in the video.

                            Outline step by step.

                            You know, like a teacher.
                            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I suppose in dressage we don't have to worry about safety. So Form comes first. When she was jumping I had to observe what she did, handling as silly horse that threw curve balls and they were jumping 1m. I put safety first.

                              But, now I find on a different horse, how much was necessary for safety- and what is actually her posture issue. And I find- again my perspective- monkey elbows and hands turned down doesn't give supportive contact, it makes the horse bump into a rigid hand, which he promptly throws his head from.

                              * when I ride in the jumping saddles, yes, I felt a clear difference in my elbow connection. Understandably, jumpers are in 2 point alot, and don't use their seat the way a dressage rider sits. But I had no temptation to turn my knuckles or separate my hands. I am alot stronger in my posture.

                              If its disturbing the connection of the horse, shouldn't you sit and connect the horse? Is there some other way to do it?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by 17Rider View Post
                                I suppose in dressage we don't have to worry about safety. So Form comes first. When she was jumping I had to observe what she did, handling as silly horse that threw curve balls and they were jumping 1m. I put safety first.

                                But, now I find on a different horse, how much was necessary for safety- and what is actually her posture issue. And I find- again my perspective- monkey elbows and hands turned down doesn't give supportive contact, it makes the horse bump into a rigid hand, which he promptly throws his head from.

                                * when I ride in the jumping saddles, yes, I felt a clear difference in my elbow connection. Understandably, jumpers are in 2 point alot, and don't use their seat the way a dressage rider sits. But I had no temptation to turn my knuckles or separate my hands. I am alot stronger in my posture.

                                If its disturbing the connection of the horse, shouldn't you sit and connect the horse? Is there some other way to do it?
                                You come on here critiquing George Morris and your entire riding instruction for establishing positive contact and initiating connection in an initially resistant, hot horse is,

                                "shouldn't you sit and connect the horse?"
                                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yes elbows are important and you use dressage principles to help your jumping. That is why ground work is so important in jumping. If it is ground work elbows in soft and giving. during the jump if some riders feel that they need that extra space the elbows go out a bit. However the jump is only on stride so you have to have the rest correct to get the one stride right.

                                  I am totally biased when it comes to George Morris I have fallowed him since I was a child and take his word on horsemanship as gospel. Are we really going to critique his riding, he has more skill and experience forgotten than we will ever learn. I would be like Jumpers critiquing Podhajsky it think it is folly to say the least.
                                  Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.
                                  -Auntie Mame

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    In "Hunter Seat Equitation," George critiques his own photo-- he says he wishes his elbows were closer to his body. So, yeah, not the best rider to demonstrate perfect elbow eq.

                                    That said, a lot of riders are reluctant to move their arms around, especially those of us who were taught the "sit there and look pretty" method of riding. You need to help her USE here elbows properly and their position will naturally follow.
                                    The journey is the destination.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by 17Rider View Post
                                      I suppose in dressage we don't have to worry about safety. So Form comes first.
                                      Really? Dressage riders don't have to worry about a horse spooking and unseating them?

                                      Repeat over and over and over to yourself and your student(s) - Function follows form.

                                      Form exists for the PURPOSE of function. It's only the talented (naturally or through hard work) riders who can let form suffer yet not have a degredation in function. Those riders are good *despite* poor form, not because of it, and the vast majority of them didn't get to be go by never learning proper form.

                                      * when I ride in the jumping saddles, yes, I felt a clear difference in my elbow connection. Understandably, jumpers are in 2 point alot, and don't use their seat the way a dressage rider sits. But I had no temptation to turn my knuckles or separate my hands. I am alot stronger in my posture.
                                      When you're position is correct, it's correct, and the connection is there regardless of the saddle or sitting vs 2pt
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZHe1...eature=related

                                        I guess you will watch this video of the "guru" and tell me that he isn't an effective and balanced rider.
                                        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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