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Riding. Mindset. Fitness.

Become the rider your horse wishes for.

Quiet Hands: 3 Exercises for Independent Rein Aids

The rider should be able to give soft rein aids at any time, regardless of the bit s/he has chosen, or whether there are two or four reins: because the rider is holding the horse’s sensitive mouth in his hands. There are five types of rein aids: asking, yielding, non-allowing, supporting, and sideways-guiding.

The Lynchpin of the Rider’s Seat

That makes the rider’s hands the lynchpin of his seat. With the help of a stable core, the rider balances his upper body, sits straight and tall and is able to follow the horse’s motion dynamically. From supple shoulders, the upper arms can be relaxed by his sides, the hands positioned in an optimal way and the firsts carried softly in front of the torso. In order to do this successfully, the rider needs the complete package: a strong back, a stable torso, mobile shoulders, and good coordination.

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl emphasizes: „The hands and the upper body need to be able to move independently of each other. I have to move with the horse but at the same time need to be able to keep my hands still in order not to disturb the motion and to ensure soft and fluid communication of the aids.“

With positive body tension it’s easy to sit upright and have quiet, soft hands for the horse’s mouth. But that’s easier said than done. Often, there is an issue right at the top: tight shoulders. „That’s a typical problem for riders who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk – with bad posture“, Fitness Coach Marcel Andrä explains.
„This leads to muscular imbalance, i.e. shortened or blocked muscle groups.“ If the rider is holding too much tension in the shoulders, he is blocking the shoulder joint, and it becomes impossible to carry the hands independently in front of the torso. The ability to give light aids suffers. This type of excessive tension often carries over into the entire thoracic spine and core.

These Exercises Improve Your Rein Handling

Specific exercises can help you to improve the mobility of your thoracic spine and shoulders and the posture of your spine when riding so that you can achieve a relaxed arm- and hand position for softer and more precise rein aids. This supports your static and dynamic core stability and strengthens your back.

The three DressurFit® exercises in this video will help you improve your rein aids and prevent pain in your shoulders and back.

For even more tailored exercises, sign up for our program:


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