Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Demon Right Hand, Round II (at least)

Longtime readers might remember my ongoing problem with my demon right hand. I thought it sort of went away because yay! Not jumping! 

But I was wrong.

So wrong.
who's not surprised?
In a lesson last week, my trainer told me to change direction through the circle. I did my best, but Courage did this engage-power-skid sideways move and it looked more like the first ride on a three year old than like an 11 year old horse who's about ready for first level dressage after three years off the track.

Before I could say "wtf is his problem horse is obvi broken", my trainer was like "uh yeah let's do that again but like WITHOUT the death grip on the right rein".

I would have argued with her about that assertion, because I sure didn't feel any death grip going on, but given that it's been an issue for me before, eh... yeah. She was probably on to something. So we changed directions roughly a million times and I learned something very important:

I actually can't turn right.

Oh, and my body awareness sucks. Still.
but we look ok left, so yay!
I did finally sort of figure out how to turn right, but it went like this: "ok left rein up with contact. Then sit up. Then outside leg. Also turn shoulders. That includes right shoulder. Yes, right shoulder, right hand forward. That means do something with elbow. Soften with inside rein maybe? AH STOP GRABBING! BACK DEMON HAND BACK NO WAIT FORWARD THROW IT ALL AWAY JESUS TAKE THE REINS"

Cough.

It sort of works, but it takes forEVER.

Sigh.

The lesson migrated from outside to inside, which means smaller space and less incentive to turn--I mean, the walls of the arena basically turn my horse for me. That's way easier than taking 5 minutes to make a right hand turn because I have to brain through the whole thing. Right? What could possibly go wrong?

Well.

Let me tell you what could go wrong. (boring video here. more if you click around)
Mighty C-rage buck
I could just keep right on pulling with my right hand while asking my horse to canter right.
JUST STAHP
Eventually my trainer was just like "two point around the arena in canter and FOR GOD'S SAKE STOP PULLING ON THAT POOR CREATURE" and C cantered around pretty ok. 

Of course. 

And I was like "obvi horse broken and unrideable obvi". 

So because I am the world's best friend, I made Lindsey come out and ride C and didn't tell her he was broken and totally unrideable. I did tell her not to pull with her right rein, because I'm not some sort of maniac.

Funny story: he cantered right like a totally normal horse (which I of course didn't take video of, but here's unrelated video from the same day).
look at the pretty picture!
So uh. I thought the reason we weren't quiiiite ready for first level was my horse's clearly insufficient training (done by me), but actually it's looking more like the weird demon right hand problem again. Any tips for an exorcism? 

27 comments:

  1. If you figure it out let me know. I death grip my left rein and can't seem to open my right shoulder. I guess I'm just extra special...

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  2. You really crack me up! I feel like the right hand demon is at least in some sort of a cage at this point instead of full fledged freedom.

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  3. I am guilty of this as Riley's tougher side is tracking right. I've gotten into the habit of over-exaggerating realeasing the inside rein (like let it go slack and only use my outside rein contact and inside leg to turn him. Once I can do that successfully I am allowed to pick up the inside rein.

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  4. I used to have the same problem and I have absolutely no idea how I managed to fix it. I think the clinician I was going to last year kept yelling at me to move my hands with my horse's head and to shit my right hand forward is what did the trick, but I can't swear to it.

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  5. This is just a stab in the dark, but could it be an actual physical issue? Do you go to the chiropractor ever? I know, for me at least, when I realize I've been doing something predominantly with only side of my body I see my chiro and 9 times out of 10, there's an actual issue I was unaware of. Or...it could just be you. Ha. Just a thought!

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    1. Is it weird that I've already scheduled a chiro for Courage but not one for myself? (And he sees one all the time and I never have...)

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    2. It might be good to be adjusted yourself! It has been monumental for me. I always thought one of my legs was longer than the other--like, I was just made that way. Apparently not! Whenever my right stirrup starts to get too long that's one way I know I need an adjustment. And then poof! Both legs are actually the same length! lol

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  6. No advice but apparently I do all sorts of weird things with my hands and don't even realize it so I feel ya

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  7. I'm not even left to right either sometimes struggling with turning and circles. One thing that's helped me is thinking about turning my belly button to where I want to go. It makes me engage my core, and use my whole body to help turn, instead of just certain parts.

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  8. I had a demon left hand. I finally got it to stop pulling and then in a lesson last year my (new) coach said 'your left hand is not taking any contact, you need to fix that'. Sigh.

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  9. My right hand has the opposite problem. It's the laziest bitch ever. Instead of pulling, it's like, ok bai going on vacation over here see you ltr.

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  10. I've been doing almost exactly the same thing only its with my left hand! This is making me think of Zoolander and his not being able to turn left haha

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  11. I have demon hands too. They don't usually pull but they do other cruel and unusual things.

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  12. I have a demon right shoulder! It should pair up with your hand and they can go on vacation together.

    I thought one of the comments ^^^ up there was interesting. We think so much about our horses being crooked, needing adjustment, their conformation, etc... what about ours?

    I am pretty sure I am seriously crooked. Like maybe scoliosis crooked. But of course all $$ goes to the horse, so...

    I try to make modifications in non-riding life. Like drive with my left hand, and raise my left shoulder while I'm at work. Weird non-horse stuff. But, no idea if this works or not.

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  13. I have a demon left hand, so I have a much easier time tracking right. I'll be in your neck of the woods this summer, so clearly we should have a "transferral of powers" ceremony. During a full moon, of course.

    Additionally, I should mention that seeing a massage therapist helped my balance a ton! I agree that it would be worth looking into either that or a chiropractor.

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    1. Together we'll either be the best or worst rider ever.

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  14. Maybe your hand needs a ballsack to go with the penis to balance it all out.

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  15. You need a young priest and an old priest. Or you could go the crystals, holy water, and sage route.

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  16. My trainer, Chemaine Hurtado, always says to reach down and pet with the inside hand. This does two things, it helps the rider release the inside rein and it lets the horse know he's doing the right thing. In all of the videos that I post, you'll see me constantly reaching forward to pat with my inside hand.

    BTW - I rarely comment because my employer has such an aggressive internet filter that I can't comment, but I do read every day at lunch. :0)

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I do understand. I read yours every day but my computer is weird about commenting on it and I get tired of fighting with it.

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    2. That's weird because I can comment on my OWN blog from work, but practically no one else's. Sheesh ... I am actually terrible at commenting anyway because most of the time what I wanted to say was already said so I don't bother, but I do want bloggers to know that I am reading. :0)

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  17. can we get a support group for right hand demons? or maybe a t-shirt?!?

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  18. Sometimes I spend entire free rides thinking: Today we will work on keeping thumbs on top of reins. And it sucks. But my point is, sometimes I have to do one thing at a time and concentrate on that, and it makes everything kinda easier and fall into place

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  19. Bridge your reins! Very eye opening (and demon conquering).

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