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instructor requesting short reins, elbow in front

(12 Posts)
ShapeSorterGoesWild Sat 24-Oct-15 11:31:06

My instructor would like me to ride with very short reins, elbows in front of body and hands well in front of withers. I find this position tips my upper body forward and my legs back and just doesn't work for me. I was originally taught to have elbows as part of upper body and straight line from elbow to bit. I have tried to explain my point but she just asked me to sit back. How I don't know. Makes no sense to me. How do you go about something like this with an instructor?

Sychnant Sat 24-Oct-15 13:44:17

Find a new one!!!

Yes, reins should be short, but pushing the elbows in front of your body is a major cause of poor position and encourages the horse to go on the forehand.

Does the horse know how to work into a contact? If so, does she tell you to "give" as a reward when he does it? If not, does she explain how to teach him what you want?

You were originally taught correctly. Don't let her spoil it!

Good luck smile

ShapeSorterGoesWild Sat 24-Oct-15 14:15:29

I'm doing a take back the reins course so the next 6 lessons are pre booked sad.

I don't get the impression the pony does know how to seek contact. She didn't explain why I should shorten my reins. Just where to put my hands. I explained my elbows were out in front and too straight, felt unbalanced and pony is downhill anyway so it was a disaster. The sitting back thing, I just don't get how I could do that will my arms forward. Maybe she wanted me to raise my idea. I will ask again and I will have to just muddle through until the course is over. Disappointed though.

She also said my knees were too close to the saddle and to grip with the back of my calves. This makes your toes stick out? I think she was trying to stop my legs from rising back and up, which was a direct result of arms too forward. Oh well.

Pixel Mon 26-Oct-15 00:24:27

Grip with the back of your calves? That's terrible advice. Have you had to pay in advance for the whole course?

Want2bSupermum Mon 26-Oct-15 00:34:13

Is there another instructor or can you get a refund for the remaining lessons?

As a former instructor for the family riding school I interview instructors when I am home. I've found some of the east european instructors to be shockingly bad or absolutly amazing and I've seen this horrible technique being taught by a couple of instructors from this part of the world. There doesn't seem to be anyone between the two extremes from that region that I have interviewed. If you are looking to get back to riding I would go by word of mouth to find someone better.

ShapeSorterGoesWild Tue 27-Oct-15 19:41:33

Yes, I have paid in advance. Lesson learned. I'll see it through and them look for another instructor. Thanks for your help smile

NHSisfubar Wed 28-Oct-15 03:36:10

Actually it may not be bad advice. Google photos of Charlotte Dujardin and you will see her hands well in front of wither and elbows forward of her body shoulder to hip line also. My ex racer is very on the forehand (built downhill) and my (excellent) instructor has taught me similarly. At times it has felt horribly awkward (like you say you feel tipped forward initially) and I'm short in limb so find it difficult. However my horse is now in self carriage most of the time, she rides 'into' the shorter rein contact and poll comes up to be the highest point and we can achieve a soft consistent shape. Now that I'm not holding her head up (she used to scoot round head low and pulling me out the saddle as she used me for balance and I braced against her) I can actually sit back and in comfort by keeping elbows and shoulders soft and not clamped to my sides which in turn helps leg position and not keeping leg clamped on. See how you go I guess!

ShapeSorterGoesWild Wed 28-Oct-15 14:15:59

Thanks NHS, I see what you mean, different roads to Rome. Ideally though, as I'm returning to riding, I would like to work on my basic balance and position first before trying out alternative methods to help the pony to go forward better. Chicken and egg. I'm going to continue with an open mind though. Thanks smile

swisscheesetony Wed 28-Oct-15 14:47:36

If your arms (elbows) are way forward it's going to be difficult to properly engage your core. There's also going to be a risk of "steering" issues and crossing hands over the neck. Elbows at the side will give you a deeper more balanced seat and stop your hands being naughty.

Ignore Charlotte, she's just showing off on her unicorn.

swisscheesetony Wed 28-Oct-15 14:49:37

Et voila:

ShapeSorterGoesWild Wed 28-Oct-15 17:05:22

Thank you swisscheese. Good article smile

Gabilan Thu 29-Oct-15 18:08:09

to grip with the back of my calves

Well that would be a good way to introduce tension into your ankles, knees and hips. So you won't absorb any movement and won't be able to sit deeply. Unless she's exaggerating to try to correct you if you are riding with your toes pointing in too much, I don't think so.

You can ride with your hands more forward and your reins shorter but it really depends on your level of training and the horse's, plus whatever else may be going on. It's not necessarily wrong but if you're doing a basic refresher course it doesn't sound quite right.

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