Make a fist

Look at the top dressage riders. Their hands are closed in a fist.

Some trainers tell riders to ‘play with their fingers’ as to make the horse softer. I don’t agree. I don’t like to fumble with the bit. Your Lees meer

I need the support

People are ‘handy’, we use our hands all the time. Being on just two legs makes us wobbly, so if we lose balance, we stick out a hand or two to correct it. This is firmly lodged in our brain. So if we sit on something as wobbly as a horse, and someone gives us reins in our hands, we use them immediately to steady ourselves.

Reins are attached to a bit in the mouth. Pressure on a bit gives an unpleasant feeling. Horses react by sticking their tongues out or opening their Lees meer

Piano hands

Ever heard of piano hands? It means a rider twists his wrists in such a way, the knuckles point down.

The problem with this being that you can’t move with the horse anymore. Your lower arm is no longer a straight line with the reins to the bit. You Lees meer

The correct hand position

Just like the leg position and your upper body, the way you hold your hands and arms is important for a reason.

The correct way is the only way in which your shoulders, elbows and wrists can move, so you can have an elastic contact with the mouth. If you sit upright, Lees meer