Friday, March 22, 2013

Good Hands


After being chastised for pulling my horse into position in my last lesson, I decided to put the "bucking strap" back on my saddle.

I really need to clean my saddle.


It's not really a bucking strap.  I'm actually not sure what it's called, but its a strap that's designed to help you keep your hands in place while you ride.  The idea is to loop your pinky around the strap like so:

I also need to wash my gloves.

The strap is a gentle reminder to keep your hands in position and doesn't allow you to pull.  Only having your pinky on it prevents you from using it to brace yourself.

I've spent the last week warming up like this.  I let go of the strap when I'm ready to work, but the muscle memory remains. If I find myself bracing, I pick up the strap again.

I'm quite pleased with the results so far.  My hands are staying quieter, and Spider seems much more supple.  My abs are also sore, which is always a good sign.  Sore abs mean I'm using my core to support myself, not my reins.

I purchased my strap, and honestly I'm not even sure why I paid for it.  I think I knew the person selling it and it was one of those "political" purchases.  You know, when you buy something from someone because you need to play nice...

You could easily just make one yourself out of baling twine, though.  I had a baling twine one before I purchased the "fancy" one.  Just cut off a piece of baling twine about 20 inches long, then tie it to the D rings on the pommel of your saddle.  Voila!  You have your very own Fancy-Schmancy Hand Keeper-In-Placer!



10 comments:

  1. Very good tool - a neck strap will achieve the same objective.

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    Replies
    1. I don't have a neck strap, but if you've got one, it would totally do the same thing!

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  2. I just put the strap back on my bareback pad. Looking forward to following your lead! ;D

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  3. Oooh, this is a good idea. I may have to follow suit.

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    Replies
    1. I'd love to hear how it works out for you!

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  4. Oddly, what works better for me which I can no longer do with the new custom saddle which fits just right... I like to ride w/ a half pad and line my hands up based on the fuzz. I'm a visual learner, so watching my hands and seeing them where they should or shouldn't be seems to fix it for me more quickly than using a strap. I think that makes me a weirdo, though!

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    Replies
    1. I have to do something to learn it, so watching doesn't help, but I can definitely see how keeping your hands in front of the pad is a good way to remember to keep them forward! Thanks for sharing that!

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  5. Always a good idea when you find an aid like this that allows you to "self teach" yourself out of a bad habit. Good going.

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