This drawing is an attempt explain something about the anatomy of the hand in relationship to riding. For those of us who ride English style we have been taught to hold the reins between our fingers where the digits poke out from the webbing of the hand. But there is no joint at this point and therefore no true movement.
Joints are the main movers! Without a joint at the point of contact with the reins the conclusion must be that we are blocking out horses and the flow of energy forward!
I believe it is really important to understand this.
Turn the palm face up. The joint is in the middle the palm.
Turn the hand over you will see that corresponds with the knuckles.
My thought is to experiment with holding the reins further back in the hand to rest at the joint, the mechanism of movement. It feels a little odd to begin with, but I think you will find increased feel and forward flow and your horse will feel happier.
The joint is where the feathers and dotted lines are. I’ve drawn the dots on a curve because everything that lives and breathes and moves, lives and breathes and moves spirallicaly.
The feathers under the horses chin are to remind that head – neck – back poise is dimensional, it has ‘sides’, an ‘underside’ as well as a ‘top line’. (None of these are places as such. Poise is balance in movement, not a place or a posture!)
The hard lines that create the outline of the horses head in the drawing corresponds with where the digits meet the palm, where we traditionally hold the reins that I believe creates a block.
Any block at the horses head will block the free balance of the poll, the primary movement of the body, or in Alexander Technique speak ‘the primary control.’ We want to allow the poll to freely lead the roll of forward movement, forward and up into poise and power over the earth.
I hope this bit of hand anatomy helps? Do let me know what you notice with your horse if you experiment with how you hold your reins.
For more you can apply to your poise and balance in riding you might like to check out my media downloads here.
My three titles are – Body Magic, Breathe and Walking with Your Horse. Each download 50 minutes.