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Tyranasaurus arms...

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  • #21
    i think that a longer torso is more advantageous because of the leverage it gives a rider (think of Gal) - altho a good rider can come in any shape

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    • #22
      Yes, a little goes a long way with a long torso. That's why it's a disadvantage for most riders. Of course, those who've learned to use a long torso effectively -- like Gal, Fox-Pitt or Brannaman -- can do a lot with that leverage.
      The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry
      www.reflectionsonriding.com

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      • #23
        I once had an infuriating time with an instructor. She was very good in a lot of ways, but it was a constant back and forth between "bend your elbows!" and "give with your hands!" I was like, yeah, I have short arms... you need to pick one.

        I recently did a clinic with a Grand Prix rider and within the first 5 minute 'position check' she noted that I had short forearms and I wouldn't be able to carry my hands in front of the saddle and *that's ok!* I could have hugged her.

        My horse has a ridiculously low head carriage which has actually been helpful for me because things really click for both of us when I think about riding from my elbows rather than my hands.

        With my greenish horse, she had me use my thumb to 'lock' in my rein length and when I need to give, I open my lower fingers to give him a few inches. This is preferable for us because if I try to move my arms I tend to get straight arms-locked elbows which is not much of a gift for my horse.

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        • #24
          A couple of things come to mind. Length of reins for one. Up and open is important and correct. Long and low is only a temporary position the horse assumes that some systems utilize when developing the topline and engagement in the early stages of training; it is not actually a frame you are looking for to last forever, rather it is a technique to achieve an end. Elbows at your side and direct line elbow, wrist, bit is essential. Angles are important. One thing I'm not hearing is softness of the wrist...as in the flexibility your wrist has when writing in longhand...also very important (not to be confused with giving hands). Correct position combined with correct rein length for the frame of the horse is available to most riders. I can see where large or long horses and shorter riders can have trouble achieving that balance without adjustments though. Ultimately, it is the impulsion of the horse that fills up the slack all around.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by abrant View Post
            I once had an infuriating time with an instructor. She was very good in a lot of ways, but it was a constant back and forth between "bend your elbows!" and "give with your hands!" I was like, yeah, I have short arms... you need to pick one.
            Yeah, exactly. Pick one because the laws of geometry, those ain't changing.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

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            • #26
              Often we say there should be movement in the elbows when what we really mean is that there should be movement in the shoulder joint. I'm not sure why, but if you ask a rider to follow with their elbows, you usually get movement in the shoulder joint. If you talk about moving the shoulder joint, you often get a locked shoulder and a torso rock.

              If you can get the elbow to move forward and back (longitudinally) without opening and closing the angle too much (which would raise or lower the hands), you've automatically achieved mobility in the shoulder joint. If you have mobility in the shoulder joint, you can give with your hands and retain nearly the same angle in your elbow.

              It's silly, though, to be telling riders where to put their hands in relationship to the pommel, since riders and their saddles come in different shapes and sizes.
              The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry
              www.reflectionsonriding.com

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              • #27
                i have a lot easier time with where my elbows/hands go riding my 15h shorter necked guy as opposed to my 16h long necked mare. it is just easier on the little guy. why i am not sure.

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                • #28
                  If you feel your arms are too short also look at where your butt is in the saddle. Even if your position is spot on, some saddles are more forward balanced, some center balanced. When I get the feeling that my arms are too short it's one of my mental notes that I'm not sitting correctly- I then bring my body forward.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Kairoshorses View Post
                    I have a different problem--not to swipe your thread--but I have upper arms that think they're thighs. I have a hard time holding them against my body!

                    Love the "giant pelvis" description. I'll have to try thinking about that!
                    Well, since you're already hijacked the thread a littlle...
                    I never thought of it that way, but I think I have the same problem. After my trainer pointed out my "chicken wings", I start to try to keep my arms closer to my body, but i forgot that I have these things called elbows *facepalm* So now, instead of "keep your shoulders straight" I keep hearing "Don't forget to bend your elbows!"
                    Yes, I smell like a horse. No, I don't consider that to be a problem.

                    Originally posted by DottieHQ
                    You're just jealous because you lack my extensive koalafications.

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                    • #30
                      I have super short arms and legs. Like others have said above - I feel way better on a horse with a higher neck set (i.e. Friesian, Morgan, etc.) - but I don't have any of those so I have had to work it out with my horses with regular neck sets.

                      I had coaches yell at me for years to keep my hands lower - I finally decided to ignore them and my riding has improved leaps and bounds. I keep my shoulders back, my elbows at my side and maintain a straight line from bit to elbow, and then let my hands fall were they may (usually over the pommel of my saddle). The pain in my shoulders that I had for years is now gone, my seat and balance has improved and my horses are going much better as well. Because of my short arms I also have to ride with my hands a bit wider apart because I have teeny tiny forearms and a wide midsection.

                      The main thing I am jealous about normal armed riders is that they can pat their horses necks while riding - I have to lean way forward to even reach the withers for a quick scratch.
                      Be firm, fair, kind, clear, consistent, patient, and, above all else, maintain a sense of humour.
                      www.stargazerfarm.ca

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