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Quiet Hands, Quiet Horse

Whether you ride English or western, good riding puts the emphasis on seat and legs first and hands and reins last. Hands that are light, quiet and soft enhance the horse's balance, suppleness and way of carrying himself by supporting the direction given from the rider's seat and leg aids. Good hands eliminate tension and build trust. Hands that are heavy, busy or hard simply get in the way of that communication. A rider who is tense, stiff or unbalanced relies on her hands to find some sense of balance and control. Hands that bounce up and down, pull or jerk on the reins, are stiff or set in place not only impair the horse's natural movement, but also cause pain to the mouth and tension through the poll, neck and back. Whether you ride in an English snaffle bit with contact, or a western curb bit on loose reins,…

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