Feel your arms down by your sides and relax them from the shoulder.
The sensation of feeling your arms gently against your side will automatically bend your elbows, give you soft shoulders and soft giving hands.
This very small element of posture correction has been a huge positive force in my riding. Feeling my arms by my sides gives me a sense of what is happening with my upper body. If I am leaning forwards or backwards I feel it with my arms.
Now I am not a student of the Classical Masters, but one of the things (and there are many others) that I always notice about the Classical Masters photographs is the way they hold their arms. Or should I say, the way their arms look so soft and effortless. You get the sense that all the messages are coming just from the fingers.
Next time you are on board make a conscious decision to be aware of your arms. Notice when they are by your sides how much more “at one” with your horse you feel. As soon as you start flapping those elbows you will feel the difference in your horse. Somehow, gently feeling your arms by your sides gives you a reassuring feeling of control! Try it and let me know how you get on.
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster