This position is for
snaffle bit users mainly. But how your wrists and hands are held signal to all
the muscles through out the body. And which ever position your hands and
arms are in will travel to the horses mouth.
Depending on how you have
your wrists it can cause tension.
When you ride how do you
hold your reins and what do your hands look like as you look at them.
There will be 5 incorrect
positions explained and the correct position will be after those 5.
1-Palms Down/back of hands
2 -Wrists cocked out/broke out
3- Wrists broken inwards
4 -Broken wrist going down
5 - Wrist broken upwards
Thumbs up, aligned with elbow
1 -Palms Down/back
of hands pointed up (incorrect).
If you ride with the back of the hands
pointed toward the sky (like typing on a keyboard) notice how your shoulders
collapse to the inside and how the muscles in the lower arm stop the flow of
What happens when you pull on the
The wrists collapse downward so now the
wrists are pointed forward.
Also what can happen is the rider will
keep the wrists pointed up toward the sky and then use the whole arm to pull
back, but then the elbows will wing out and the shoulder will tense up
toward the sky also.
How about the armpits? they have inward
pressure on them. Like squeezing the life out of an orange from the front to
the back. Or trying to spit it out toward the rear or the horse
2 - Wrists
cocked out/broke out (incorrect)
There is no give and take with the
reins and movement of the horse.
It would require you to straighten out
your arm to compensate for the horses movement.
In that wrist position it just does not
effect the wrist it follows on up through the arm and down the body.
It stretches the palm of the hand to
where you canít correctly hold the rein.
Tightens up the forearm on the inside
and contracts the outside of the forearm.
The inside of the upper arm is
The top of the shoulder will pop
forward the shoulder will tense up.
The lower back will hollow.
The pelvis will tilt forward.
3 - Wrists
broken inwards (incorrect)
This has the most effect
on the horse with the contact on the mouth.
When the wrists are
broken in the horses mouth will be pulled in breaking the snaffle in the
middle of the mouth to seem as if the horse would collapse then mouth.
Example take your two
hands and put them together palms up and thumbs touching together to act as
the horses mouth put a rein through the "mouth" and have someone
on the other sides of the reins as the rider.
Have the rider do the
wrist positions broken in and correct.
When the rider break
inwards your mouth will collapse or break apart to the direction where your
knuckles would join.
If in the correct
position when the rider pulls back the whole mouth will come back having the
"mouth" staying together and stay together.
Also when a rider has
broken in hands the rider is constantly pulling on the horse as there is no
give and take.
What broken in hands does
to the rider. Try pulling back on the reins with a broken in wrist.
What happens? You bring
your hands into your stomach and you need to bring your body back also.
Or do the opposite, If
you bring back the chances are that you will pull down also as the shoulder
has to round in to go with the motion of the wrist coming in thus the rider
might also tilt forward to follow the motion of the arm.
Sitting at your chair
place a book or something solid and flat on your lap.
Get into the arm/wrist
position (broken in) a couple of inches above the book.
Pretend you are gong to
pull back on the reins.
Then see how far off the
top of the book you are with the hands when you get to your stomach.
What does this do to your
lower back. Pelvis, upper back, shoulders, upper arms, elbows, and forearms.
So either you are going
to lean back with the hands or you are going to lean forward to compensate
for not leaning back and off balance with the hands.
Nothing is independent
when in the broken positions. Everything is locked in to each other and has
to contort accordingly.
When you have to long of
reins this could also happen.
4 -Broken wrist
going down (incorrect)
Your wrists are locked again.
There is no line from elbow to mouth.
The contact with the mouth is out to
space and then when contact is made it is a bang on the mouth.
You would in turn try to rip the horses
Because you are pulling down, which
makes the horses head fly and flip up into the air.
The horses back gets hollow as a result
you have nothing but a messed up horse.
5 - Wrist
broken upwards (incorrect)
Your locked, no straight line from
elbow to mouth.
Bumping your horse in the roof of his
When pulling back on the rein the angle
of the forearm and upper arm are is a very sharp degree upwards the
shoulders lock and the back stiffens, and yet the pelvis tilts too.
Now take all that and see what the
horse feels when the rider is all contorted like that.
Thumbs up aligned
with elbow (correct)
holding a candle stick
with the thumb on the wick.
This would be where the
tops of the thumbs are pointed toward the sky.
Notice how the shoulder
is not as collapsed inward as the other position.
Notice the muscles on the
whole arm. It is like the energy is flowing through out all of it. Say an
invisible circle from hands to lower arm through elbow up the upper arm out
through the top of the shoulder and arching back to the hand again.
What does the arm and
shoulder and wrist/hands do when you pull on the rein?
Does your wrist point in
toward each other or do the wrists point slightly outside?
If the wrist points
toward the inside the joint action very very limited to about nothing
(locking), but if the wrists point slightly toward the outside there is a
lot of flexibility with the joint to go with the flow of the rein action and
soft on the horses mouth.
The arm should be still
pointed in a forward direction from wrist to elbow to shoulder position.
Now shoulder. This
depends on the person. Stiff or relaxed.
The stiff person will
clasp the arm pit having the upper arm and elbow right at the side of the
torso, thus squeezing the juice out of the orange and only letting the juice
escape down the side. Notice the orange wouldn't be spit out but rather in a
The relaxed arm pit would
have the arms and elbow slightly away from the side of the torso -
holding the orange but not indenting it the least bit.
If you clasp your arm
pits buy some foam like a medium sponge and ride with the sponges in both
Not squeezing it but just
holding it there. Or if you want to try the orange (just joking).
To loosen up the wrists, arms and
shoulders stick your thumbs up like you were hitch hiking.
Start moving the thumbs and wrists
(which will move the arm and shoulder too) like you were flinging something
to the side and back of you.
The thumb and wrist would go toward the
chest and then out and circle back to the starting point left goes clock
wise and right goes counter clock wise.
Try to do this with the wrist pointed
toward the sky. what happens?