April 10, 2018

"Close Your Outside Hand"

I mentioned yesterday how the biggest takeaway from the clinic was KPG saying "close your outside hand" to me.  I learned something about Connor and something about myself in that moment.


Look, I know that doesn't seem like earth shattering advice, but the way she said it and the timing of when she said it was a huge lightbulb moment for me.


No one has ever said "close your hand" to me before.  To convey the same thing, they've said "half halt in the outside rein", "close your outside rein", "he's drifting to the outside, straighten him out", things like that.


What all those have in common is that they're trying to convey the same thing to me as "close your outside hand" but they're telling me what to do, not how to do it.  When KPG told me both what to do, how to do it and said it at exactly the right time, in that moment I did it correctly, and I felt a huge difference - Connor went from feeling like "warmup Connor" to "working Connor" immediately.

(Or - once again, Dressage is a series of learning "inside leg to outside rein" in new ways 😂)


Looking back on other situations now, it's clear that the way I learn best is someone telling me both what to do and how to do it - which is why I keep asking various people to explain the aids for bringing Connor from a lengthened canter back to working, and no one has given me an explanation that clicks yet.  I get a lot of "use shoulder in" and "use a circle" and "You're really good at that transition in the trot, do the same thing," and that helps but none of it really clicks.


Since then, I've been using the "close your outside hand," with great success.  Turns out I haven't been doing that - I've probably been pulling instead, knowing me.  Pretty cool to have taken something that useful away, and also learned something about the way I learn.

7 comments:

  1. It's so neat how hearing something in a new way at just the right time can cause things to click so well!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahaha, it's all in the semantics isn't it! Glad you found a phrase/visualization that works for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! I mean, I try to flexible in the way I learn, but in the end, some things are just going to click and others won't.

      Delete
  3. Mary Wanless talks about this a lot in terms of toolkits. The first toolkit is rider -> horse and the second toolkit is horse -> ideal horse. The second toolkit is full of "rounder" and "straighter" and "more bend" but the first toolkit digs into the rider's influence over the horse and how to improve communication/balance/etc through rider position and aids. It's amazing how many people can't teach the first toolkit and jump straight to the second without realizing that the rider needs to be taught how to better influence the horse... before... being asked to change the horse. That's so awesome that you had such a good lesson!! Connor is looking great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fascinating, I was honestly hoping you'd comment on this. I definitely feel that way. With Connor, I'm developing that first toolkit and just fumbling around the second, which is part of the reason we've been so slow to progress up the levels. But who knows what will happen with my next horse in 5-10 years, once the first toolkit is developed through moments like this one.

      Delete
    2. When I learned the above from Mary Wanless' teaching it really reframed how I see most trainers and whether or not they are actively helping or hindering their students (99% of the time without even realizing it)

      Delete

"Close Your Outside Hand"

I mentioned yesterday how the biggest takeaway from the clinic was KPG saying "close your outside hand" to me.  I learned something about Connor and something about myself in that moment.


Look, I know that doesn't seem like earth shattering advice, but the way she said it and the timing of when she said it was a huge lightbulb moment for me.


No one has ever said "close your hand" to me before.  To convey the same thing, they've said "half halt in the outside rein", "close your outside rein", "he's drifting to the outside, straighten him out", things like that.


What all those have in common is that they're trying to convey the same thing to me as "close your outside hand" but they're telling me what to do, not how to do it.  When KPG told me both what to do, how to do it and said it at exactly the right time, in that moment I did it correctly, and I felt a huge difference - Connor went from feeling like "warmup Connor" to "working Connor" immediately.

(Or - once again, Dressage is a series of learning "inside leg to outside rein" in new ways 😂)


Looking back on other situations now, it's clear that the way I learn best is someone telling me both what to do and how to do it - which is why I keep asking various people to explain the aids for bringing Connor from a lengthened canter back to working, and no one has given me an explanation that clicks yet.  I get a lot of "use shoulder in" and "use a circle" and "You're really good at that transition in the trot, do the same thing," and that helps but none of it really clicks.


Since then, I've been using the "close your outside hand," with great success.  Turns out I haven't been doing that - I've probably been pulling instead, knowing me.  Pretty cool to have taken something that useful away, and also learned something about the way I learn.

7 comments:

  1. It's so neat how hearing something in a new way at just the right time can cause things to click so well!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahaha, it's all in the semantics isn't it! Glad you found a phrase/visualization that works for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! I mean, I try to flexible in the way I learn, but in the end, some things are just going to click and others won't.

      Delete
  3. Mary Wanless talks about this a lot in terms of toolkits. The first toolkit is rider -> horse and the second toolkit is horse -> ideal horse. The second toolkit is full of "rounder" and "straighter" and "more bend" but the first toolkit digs into the rider's influence over the horse and how to improve communication/balance/etc through rider position and aids. It's amazing how many people can't teach the first toolkit and jump straight to the second without realizing that the rider needs to be taught how to better influence the horse... before... being asked to change the horse. That's so awesome that you had such a good lesson!! Connor is looking great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fascinating, I was honestly hoping you'd comment on this. I definitely feel that way. With Connor, I'm developing that first toolkit and just fumbling around the second, which is part of the reason we've been so slow to progress up the levels. But who knows what will happen with my next horse in 5-10 years, once the first toolkit is developed through moments like this one.

      Delete
    2. When I learned the above from Mary Wanless' teaching it really reframed how I see most trainers and whether or not they are actively helping or hindering their students (99% of the time without even realizing it)

      Delete

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