How To Develop Soft Hands For Horse Riding

Having soft hands while riding is one of the ultimate horseback goals, and the most important beneficiary will be your pony. In the tips in this post, I introduce you to some straightforward but fun physical and mental exercises that will help you in achieving soft hands.

The 2 physical exercises are described first.

1. Tie 2 lengths of reins to a robust fence. Ropes or even baling twine will do rather than the reins. Hold them like you would hold reins. With each hand, take up contact of not less than 10 pounds. Soften your arms to adjust the reins, weights. Move to 5 pounds from 10, return to 10 and then move again to 2 pounds. Get used to the sense of weight adjustments on your reins. When you are talented at it, you can carry this technique over to your riding if you feel you’re getting a bit too strong.

2. This exercise has to do with relaxation. It’s a part of your physiology the tighter you tense any muscle, the deeper it relaxes on release. Get your strong hands tired, real tired. Make fists of your hands with the reins held in them. Clench your muscles and pile on the tension until your arms begin to shake. Relax and release the strain. Repeat several times each day, and shortly you can bring about muscle relaxation without doing the tightening routine first.

It’s time now for the psychological coaching. We use images for our purposes.

1. Convince yourself you’re holding highly exposed baby birds in your fists, not the reins. Just a bit of extra pressure and you crush the fledglings. It is very important that you work your imagination with great clarity. Think: what kind of bird are you holding? What is its body colour and its beak’s color , what does the feeling of its feathers make you think of? What do you actually think it is trying to convey with its chirping?

2. Make believe you are gripping an egg in each of your fists. If you squeeze a touch too much, you’re going to need to clean up the mess you create!

3. Pretend that you’re on horseback, with no bridle. You are holding only a silk thread that leads to the horse’s mouth. Even bearing that in mind your horse responds to the very lightest of touches.

4. Think about the bit in your horse’s mouth as a razor blade. You have to be as sensitive as a master surgeon or else you will end up chopping the horse’s mouth.

All this imagery serve to launch you off on your search for soft hands. The most acceptable imagery you can conceive of is awfully personal. Think of a soft hands image what jells with you. Keep visualizing it whenever you can, whether you are on horseback or off.

Horses are Heather Toms
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