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Developing Steady Hands

The so-called “invisible aids” are the Holy Grail of dressage, and a quiet hand may be the hardest to achieve. Keep reading for some tips and tricks.

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By: Alison King |

For many riders, the struggle may stem from a lack of solid basics, or a simple misunderstanding of just how active a “quiet” hand really is. Pan Am Games silver medallist Chris von Martels of Ridgetown, ON, says the secret to his own enviable hands is simple: many, many years of practice. “Having a quiet hand is something I feel is very important in order to create true harmony and contact with your horse. A lot of riders struggle with not having quiet hands for several reasons: first, because of a lack of connection, or acceptance of the contact. The horse has to have an honest, soft contact in order for the rider to have a quiet hand. Second is the rider’s weak seat and lack of core strength in the saddle. Riders must not use their hands for balance. I also often see riders using their hands to try…

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