The independents hands of the rider
The good hands are the basis to become good riders.
A good rider is recognized by his indipendent hands
When judjung a rider, a very important factor is whether or not he has good hands. Pretty much the worst reproach for a rider is that of hard hands. On the other hand, generally one is being taught that the reins aids are actually the least important aids and that they may only be applied togheter with the weight and legs aids. Why then are soft hands so important for riding?
First of all we have to consider that the trunk and extremities interact and and depend on each otther. We should never look at any part of the body by itself, it is important to always see the entire person and the individual body segments in their function for the entire organisme.
First, one can easily say that the horses’s mouth is held sacred by a good rider and that a horse whose mouth was ruined by bad hands will never again approach the bit confidently. Only a very gentle and experienced rider could give him a renewed confidence.
Secondly, we can recognize a good rider by his indipendent hands. As soon as the upper body loses its balance, in any way the extremities try to compensate and the arms very quickly try to help holding on. Thus, we can infer that a rider with indipendent hands has a balanced seat. The soft and costant connection between the horse’s mouth and the rider’s hands is called contact, with the horse establishing this contact by stretching to the bit. This means that the hands of the rider have to adjust to the horse’s mouth an may not to be put into a certain place without any relation to it. When good hands are very quiet and act very subtly it is the result of the even contact and the fact that the rider has become a part of the horse’s movement. When the trunk is stable and the hands are indipendent, the rider can start to influence the horse in the right way.