Last week i talked about cues and how giving yourself just a couple of things to focus on can make your life much easier as well as actually helping you to learn faster.
Following this we had a discussion about rein contact in one of my classes- we happened to be doing some exercises to improve it at the time.
In my humble opinion (and the opinion of many biomechanics based teachers) a stable but soft rein contact comes from stable shoulders.
The muscles surrounding the Scapula (the shoulder blade) and those down your spine create stability in your shoulders and torso to enable your arms to both remain still and move freely.
Of course having good muscle strength and control in these areas helps but there are also some cues that you can use whilst riding that will help to tap into this strength.
Close your elbows to your side -the enables you switch on your back muscles.
Close your “back armpit” i.e snug the back of your arm close to your body with a little squeeze. This activates the muscles between your shoulder blades.
Finally imagine someone is pushing onto the front of your hands and you are resisting their push-it can help to get a friend to push against your hands and you resist them to get the feeling you are after. What you should find is this activates the front of your body.
See what we’ve done there? We’ve activated the muscles at the back of the body and then the muscles at the front.
- Elbows into side
- Close back armpit
- Resist a push with your hands
If you are struggling with your rein contact try this out and let me know how you get on.