Look Ma, no hands!

At least, I try not to over use them.  Why is the half-halt so darn difficult sometimes?

I’ve had several great rides in a row.  I’ve been riding a lot on “my own” lately, meaning, not having as many lessons.  Mainly, it’s because between the abscess, the weekend away, etc., and then the requisite days to get back on track, it never seems like we’re ready. Additionally, I wanted to spend some time on self-analysis, so that I could feel and fix things on my own and become a bit more independent.  I think it’s working.  Becky has a lot of mirrors, which make this more feasible.  I’ve also been watching TONS of training videos on Dressage Training Online and I think I have a girl-crush on Catherine Haddad.

I have had a developing epiphany (which, by definition, is impossible–I guess it’s more of a realization from which I am coming out of denial) about my hands.  Namely, that I rely to much on them; actually, just the right one.  I don’t remember any other horse that I have ridden in which I was so right hand dominant (I am also right handed).  In the last couple weeks, I’ve realized I’m over using this hand because Bravo is not moving off my right leg into my left rein (tracking right), and then the hand comes in to “fix” this. Admitting you have a problem is the first step in recovery, right?  I’ve made a conscious effort to release that rein and push him into the bend with the right leg instead all this week.  Considering this is a really basic BASIC which should already be confirmed in an almost-Second level horse, I know this means I’m going to be taking a few steps backwards over the next few weeks fixing me, fixing him, fixing me.  Riding the Emmi pony (on whom I don’t do this, sigh) will help with my determination to overcome this fault as well.  But in order to ride a true half-halt while tracking right, and recycling the energy from Bravo’s hind legs through my seat and into receiving hands, I need to fix this.

Every journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.



Filed under Training

2 responses to “Look Ma, no hands!

  1. Erin Mullen

    YES! Someone else has my right-hand-problem too!

    • Doesn’t it stink? Are you also right handed? For some reason, this dominance is so much more pronounced on Bravo than on previous horses; I think his lesser ability to bend around my right leg causes me to “correct” it (incorrectly) by using the right rein. Ugh. Just another thing to fix! I’ve decided to put myself on the lunge line for a couple weeks after Labor of Love and try to “straighten” out my body.

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