Im VERY right handed...

JOJOBA

Fluffy Bunny, apparently
Now that Hecs is working better and into my outside rein I am more aware than ever of just how right handed I am.
I can ride with the contact on my outside rein if Im on the left rein, but on the right rein I have to take the contact in my inside rein. Id like to stop this as it means he over bends inwards on that rein.

Make sense so far?

Hector has always had a problem cantering the right rein, partly because of his shoulder being larger on one side than the other. We get the transition about 50% of the time. Other people, however, seem to have far less of a problem riding this transition on him. Ive ignored it for ages but now Im starting to think that I cant support his outside shoulder properly through the transition.

Recently, riding YO's very sensitive horse, Ive found he goes far better for me on the left rein, when I support through my right hand. He hollows out a lot more on the right rein.

So Ive now decided the solution to all my riding problems - and the problem of Hector learning the wrong aids - lies in making my left hand have a use.

Not as easy as it sounds. I am VERY right handed. My left hand is totally useless. I have tried to ride using it, but I just cant do it - its clumsy and stupid and wont listen to me. I cant even vaguely write with it (although I can draw pretty well with it :p) and as for gently squeezing the reins - no chance.

Anyone else like this - or anyone have any advice?
Thanks many :)
Jo
xxx
 

Tangle

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First off, well done for recognising that the problem might be you :). I am right handed and my right hand/arm is stronger. I used to find it hard to tighten the girth on the near side. Haven't noticed that I find it easier on one rein on the other - but I'm going to try and find it out next week now ;)

As to how to fix it - that one might be harder. Do you think it's purely a detail problem, or is your left hand generally weaker as well? If you go to sports shops you can get resistance balls which are good for increasing hand strength.

For the fine motor control - as you say you can draw quite well with your left hand, keep doing it and try to improve it. Maybe try drawing letters rather than "writing" :p. Can you type (touch typing, rather than 1 finger ;))? That's very good for co-ordination and doesn't favour either hand - you can get "teach yourself typing" software that isn't that expensive. I don't know how practical it could be, but could you take up a musical instrument - most of those require good muscle control in both hands and are also good for teaching independance of the hands.

Other than that, just try and make a concious effort to do more with your left hand - even little things like opening doors or carrying things. Picking up a cup and drinking from it (actually, I'm not sure how well I'd do with that - maybe try it with water first :D). Grooming, hoof picking, learn to tie up a horse from the other side (to get some more horse related things). Hopefully that would help to make you more aware of what your left hand is doing, which has got to be half the battle.

Hope that helps :)
 

kedwards

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Perhaps you could try doing some lateral work, especially shoulder-in and turn on the haunches. It's a great way to get the feel of sending the horse from your leg into the outside rein.

It isn't that you need to take the rein on the hollow side (in this case the left) more strongly, but that you want to provide a steady rein and convince him to reach into it. Ask your instructor to look carefully at your seat as well. I have a very one-sided guy myself. If left on his own, he'll tend to balance me slightly toward his right. Learning how to identify and correct this when it happens has helped me improve his straightness more than anything I can do with my hands.
 

JOJOBA

Fluffy Bunny, apparently
Perhaps you could try doing some lateral work, especially shoulder-in and turn on the haunches. It's a great way to get the feel of sending the horse from your leg into the outside rein.
Lateral work is all I do at the moment! Lots and lots of turns on the haunches, on and about the forehand, leg yield, shoulder in, travaires (sp), and a lot of rein back (which he HATES) to try and lighten his forehand.

Thanks for your responses - but I have to put it all on hold because Ive injured my left hand anyway :(

Tangle - I shall reply to your post once I have the use of two hands again!

xxx
 

Tangle

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Originally posted by JOJOBA
Ive injured my left hand anyway :(

Tangle - I shall reply to your post once I have the use of two hands again!

xxx
Whenever :). Just PLEASE don't tell me you poured scalding hot tea over it following my suggestion........
 

Secret Smiley

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I'm right handed and have always struggled with my left hand gripping the rein-eh i must just be the wierd one here:D
It took ages but i eventually overcame the problem:) with the help of a very patient horse
 

drookitsheep

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How about trying riding with "handlebars"? By that I mean, try carrying your whip horizontally using two hands (a short whip is best as you don't need to worry about it when you change rein).

Just doing that every now and again for a short time really makes me aware how I'm using my hands when I ride - in terms of making sure the reins remain the same length, making sure my hands are level and helping establish a constant contact - ie stopping me trying to fiddle about! I didn't think I did fiddle with the reins till I started trying this. I've become aware that I tend to try and fiddle about more with my left hand on the left rein (Murph's worst rein), and that I tend to drop my left hand a bit. Carrying a whip with two hands means I can't fiddle and it's much easier to recognise when my hands aren't where they should be.

Not sure if this will help but might be worth a shot? The left handed exercises sound like they would help too - lots of patting your head with one hand and rubbing your tummy with the other! I think someone else mentioned you can get bits and bobs from the sports shop which help build up strength in your hand/forearm. How about throwing and catching a ball with your left hand to improve co-ordination?

Hope this helps
 

^_^pEpPeRpOt^_^

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I'm right-handed but my instrutor said that if she didnt know she would have thought i was left handed as i am better on the left rein and stuff like that. Hope your hand gets better soon =)
 

JOJOBA

Fluffy Bunny, apparently
Thanks :)
My wrist (which is what I injured) is better now. This has been happening on and off for ages - my right wrist went a couple of weeks before. At first my doctor thought it was RSI, but now he isnt too sure and Ive been referred to a physio. It's been happening on and off for almost a year now.
So we shall wait and see. I probably shouldnt be riding but Id like to see someone try and stop me!
I spent the weekend away in Edinburgh and my wrist feels fine, so hopefully should be okay to ride later.
I'll restart this when it becomes relevant again.
Hope youre all well,
Jo
xxx
 
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