A small thing to practice while you ride. Conscientiously relax your elbows. Many of us ride with locked elbows, tense shoulders and tight fingers. This creates a painful wall for your horse's mouth to run into. While riding, make an effort to relax your elbows and let them move with your horse instead of sticking in a braced position. It is a small task to be aware of that will yield big results in comfort and relaxation for your horse. Once you master relaxed elbows, drop those shoulders and relax them. Stop pulling them up to your ears and locking them in place. Your fingers are next. Let go of the death grip on the reins. Let your fingers be soft. All those small joints need to be relaxed. Then when you need to communicate with your horse, you should be able to do it one finger at a time instead of always using your entire arm to talk to them.
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