What are good hands? Many students tell me they have bad hands, when in actuality, there is nothing wrong with their hands. What they often have is tight shoulders or a tight back.

To have good hands necessitates control of our entire bodies. We have to be able to follow the movements of the gaits without needing support from our upper bodies. Even if you don’t need the reins for support, if your upper body takes too much weight, and your back is tight, you’ll be unable to have a good feeling on your horses mouth. If your shoulders are tight, your hands will struggle to give. It’s not a fault of your mindset or abilities – just simple mechanics.

If you want good hands, get control of your body. Find a deep, elastic seat, an independent upper body, and learn to relax your legs, even when you use them.

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