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Soft Hands?

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

When someone says “Ya, but I don’t have soft hands”, what does that mean? Is it an explanation as to why things are the way they are between them and their horse? Is it an acceptance of how things are? Is it an incurable condition?

To me, it sounds so despairing, as if there is no hope for change, yet there is an awareness there that the person knows things are not the way they would like them to be.

In my way of thinking our hands and our legs are “aids”, aids are things we can use to help explain a “Cue” to our horses, the cue is the way in which we would like to ask our horses to do things. And for myself the “Cue” I most prefer to use on my horses is my weight, I use my legs and hands as aids to help my horses follow my weight in the direction I wish to go.

In the many years I have been teaching horsemanship lessons and clinics I have found nothing will change for someone unless "THEY DECIDE" to change some thing's. If someone feels “they don’t have soft hands” and would like to change that, the answer may lie in changing their understanding of a few horse training concepts and philosophies, which may lead them to not only having "soft hands" , but also a soft, willing, happy horse as well.

Marty Gardner

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