• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

How do you (mentally, physically, existentially?) ride with soft elbows?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #21
    Jane Savoie suggests thinking "washing clothes" (ala a washboard) with hands for walk & canter. She had another analogy for trot, but I forget what it was.

    Comment


    • #22
      I like to say that everything from the elbows down is a representation of the horse and what you want the horse to be like, and everything from the elbows up belongs to you and is a representation of you.

      So your elbows should stay firmly at your side beause you want your body to stay tall and upright with a supporting core and not leaning forward.

      Your elbows down need to stay soft because you want your horse to stay soft.
      http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by NSRider View Post
        I was at a George Morris clinic the other day, and one thing that he said that has resonated with me is:
        "The hands belong to the MOUTH not the WITHER!"

        So, in that reasoning, the hands must follow the mouth and not stay with the wither. I have a HORRIBLE habit of opening my elbows and letting my hands sit/hover just above the wither and not move. One thing I try to do to help this is lift my hands up and really actively FOLLOW the mouth. It feels strange at first, particularly if you're not used to moving your arms at all, but once you start doing it (repeatedly!) it will become natural and you'll feel the even tension it creates on the reins.

        It's a never ending process of going to far soft, or too ridgid and figuring out what best suits your horse and yourself for any particulary situation.
        I was about to post this. I audited a GM clinic last fall, and this stood out to me too. He complained about how hunter/jumper riders in North America generally have a terrible habit of putting their hands on the withers. I'm going to blame riding lessons where we get taught to hold our hands still (like one poster said, still is relative to the horse, not relative to our own bodies). If you lift your hands a few inches above the withers, your shoulders will roll back and your elbows will right away have more swing.

        Do you tend to roll your shoulders forward too? That's me all the way. I have to be very diligent about my hands/elbows/shoulders.
        I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.

        Comment


        • #24
          My instructor says that tension in the arms is a reflection of tension in the legs - so have a quick check there.
          I feel for you, I've been working hard on this the past few years. When I have it right, the muscles in my forearm feel soft/relaxed. Sometimes thinking about that helps.
          The other tidbit from my instructor is that elbows move in a circle at the walk and canter. Adjust size of the circle for the situation (canter, free walk get bigger circles).

          Comment


          • #25
            What works for me is usually just sitting limp-ish (but upright) at the walk and really asking for a forward walk, like we've got somewhere to be. I try to maintain posture and leg, but everything else just flops. So my hands, arms, and elbows are just kind of swinging along with the horse. This is how the forward walk helps cause it sets you into motion. Sometimes I exaggerate and move my hands forward and back with the horse just so I can loosen them up and get an idea of how I'm supposed to be moving. I usually do all this on a loose rein first, and then as I take up more contact throughout my ride it usually translates. Usually. If it doesn't, I go back to the exaggerated motion until I get it. I also like what other posters have said about keeping your hands off the withers. If I lift my hands out of my crotch but still maintain contact I have no choice but to be soft throughout my whole arm otherwise I'll end up hanging on to my horse's mouth. It kind of felt weird at first because I thought I was really hanging on her mouth, but then I realized that I was following but with more feel on the reins.
            I also had a previous trainer tell me to keep my elbows attached to my sides so that they would move with my upper body, and that my forearm was just an extension of my reins which in turn were an extension of the bit in the horse's mouth. It went a bit over my head until I realized I just had to ride like a T-rex. That changed my riding drastically. Same trainer also told me to keep the reins active in my hands. As in, sponge the reins, roll my fingers, anything to keep the feel on my horse's mouth active. When my hands were always doing something it was hard to keep any part of my arm locked.
            Also, ditto to the poster who said to check your leg. I worked on my leg and suddenly my upper body (arms included) became more adjustable.
            Well damn, that turned into a novel pretty fast. Kudos if you got through the whole thing!
            If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
            If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
            If I smell like manure, I tripped.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
              I like to say that everything from the elbows down is a representation of the horse and what you want the horse to be like, and everything from the elbows up belongs to you and is a representation of you. ...
              Your elbows down need to stay soft because you want your horse to stay soft.

              I love this. And I'll offer a couple of mental images to see if they'll help.

              1. Think about your hands holding a tray of hors d'oeuvres that you're offering to your horse. (If you prefer, you can imagine a dessert tray ) In either event, the tray is offered with strong hands (or it will drop) but soft elbows to welcome the horse/ guest to partake. Cocktail napkins are optional.

              2. How about trying to bring in a 20 lb. trout on a 10 lb. test line? You can't let go of the rod (reins), but you have to follow the movement or the line will snap.

              So go fishing with a dessert tray!
              They don't call me frugal for nothing.
              Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

              Comment


              • #27
                My trainer uses "fluff your elbows" as a catchphrase for this kind of thing. It reminds me of things that are fluffy (clouds, clean towels, etc.) and makes a good visual to help keep the elbows soft.
                No Trouble
                2/2/05 - 7/29/13
                Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.

                Comment


                • #28
                  when you feel yourself becoming tight through the elbow turn your thumbs all the way out so that the belly of your forearm points to the sky. It softens your biceps, pecs and deltoids.

                  Don't be afraid to air out your armpits. Often riders clamp down their armpits.

                  Also, as mentioned above, the walk and canter are "row boat" gaits.
                  http://kaboomeventing.com/
                  http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                  Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I say watch these greats inspiration:

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1btbYct5cA

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5euLPteyAEc

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfEbb6kxUno

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89EVSaxk118

                    They may not have perfect form (I take my style as a mix of Simon and Whitaker) but they are soft. If you notice closely, their elbows and arms are elastic when their core (hips and waist) are elastic, even when their legs are all over.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      fwiw, I used to hear a lot in lessons about letting my elbows swing or soften or follow..

                      I had ( and possibly still have) no kinesthetic awareness of my elbows - but I found that if every time the instructor said "swing" or "follow" w my elbows, if I swung or followed with my hips, I would then hear. "Good! Good!"

                      Since then I've figured out if our elbows AND hips/seat are still in relation to the horse, we end up w cramped or stilted gaits. But if we allow our pelvis and back to be swung by our horses' backs, we allow the head and neck to go through their balancing motion and we look like we're sitting "quietly."

                      It takes a lot of small motion in a lot of joints to make a "quiet rider."
                      http://wildwoodfarmnc.com

                      http://cantersgutenberg.wordpress.co...g-quiet-goose/

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X