Why is horse riding considered an exercise

How to get a steady rider's hand

We want them all: the fine, calm rider's hand. Instructor Claudia Butry explains why some instructions in the classroom do not lead to this and what helps instead.

I claim: Right at the top of the equestrian wish-list of all riders is "get a fine hand." And at least half of the people with this wish go crazy when asked: "Keep your hands calm!"

We just had a riding seminar on this subject last weekend. Where rider errors show up, where the cause lies and how to solve them in the saddle. The speaker was Claudia Butry, trainer A FN, movement teacher according to Eckart Meyners and Osteo-Concept Coach.

One of our course participants came to us with precisely this topic on hands. She said: "I want to get calmer hands, but nobody can explain to me how to do it!"


  1. Balls help in a new body feeling
  2. Four reasons for restless hands
  3. Restless hands due to pinched thighs
  4. The horse shows immediately: it's better this way!

Balls help in a new body feeling

“The instruction to keep your hands steady” seduces many riders to become rigid with their hands, ”explains Claudia Butry. "But riding is a dynamic process, ideally the rider and horse move together in harmony." In this case, after an analysis, she started with hip mobilization, balance and loosening the thighs.

Her way of guiding the rider into a different movement pattern was as follows: the rider should clamp two orange Franklin balls under her upper arms. After a few laps with it these came away again and the rider should empathize. Then, in another riding unit of the course, she was supposed to ride with two turquoise crater balls between thigh and saddle. Then they came away again, the rider should empathize. Then a ball came under each ischial tuberosity, walk, trot, gallop, feel again. Then both under the ischial tuberosity. Then all the balls gone.

The rider hooted as she walked with the balls. Because it felt so strange, she laughed and giggled. However, her hands, which had previously moved a lot, were immediately much calmer.

You can also see how you train your hands with Franklin balls at home in the wehorse course, Riding with Franklin Balls.

Four reasons for restless hands

A rigid hip can be a cause of restless hands. A steady rider's hand is by no means rigid, it just moves with you. What is causing the unrest has to be considered on a case-by-case basis. This can be the overly rigid, tense shoulder girdle, it can be a cramped thumb position, the lack of muscle tone in the trunk or a lack of balance.

The balls have to rebalance and reorganize the body. If the body learns new movement patterns through these new stimuli, it can later achieve them without the aid. So that such a new pattern is established, it makes sense to briefly set the stimulus every day for three weeks, for example to add the balls for a few minutes in the saddle.

Restless hands due to pinched thighs

With this rider, the still too inflexible hip was a reason for the too restless hand. Another screw at hand was to loosen the adductors, the clamps on the thighs.

"Imagine if you were a frog sitting on a large exercise ball," said the instructor. The picture helps to open the knees outwards, which gives the rider an idea of ​​how to loosen the thigh expanders herself. Clamping prevents the flow of movement up and down. And hey presto, the movement flowed better through the rider's body. "Clamping the abductors of the thighs makes the hips rigid, which means that the movement is transferred to the arms." Balance was also an important issue in this case, and balance exercises also helped to make the hand finer.

The horse shows immediately: it's better this way!

The horse responded immediately to each of these exercises, by the way. It moved more fluidly, more precisely and looked nicer than before for support.

"With the horses everything is actually already there," said Claudia Butry, "you just have to learn it yourself!"

This is exactly what happened to so many rider-horse pairs on this seminar weekend. As soon as a seating problem was partially resolved, the horses were much better.

For example, Claudia Butry loosened the SI joint of another rider with a few gymnastics exercises. Immediately the couple looked very different. This joint, also known as the sacrum and iliac joint, connects the pelvic blades with the lower part of the spine, the sacrum. After the exercise, the rider's legs appeared longer, her seat appeared more plugged in, she sat much more in the horse than just on it.

So it's very clear: if you take care of your seat, you do something for your horse, for every lesson and at the same time everything feels much better and looks even better. However, some riding seat issues remain for years. But every little piece of the puzzle helps.

Stick to it, don't be afraid of making mistakes and improve step by step - that ultimately improves the horse itself.

Tip: There are plenty of exercises with Franklin balls in our online videos! Eckart Meyners and Anja Beran, the two trainers who shape Claudia Butry, can also be seen in many of our films. Claudia Butry's own homepage is called www.neuesreiten.de.