As we learn to ride a horse, there are so many critical pieces to the perfect outcome. How your horse performs often depends on something as precise as, are your fingers closed? are your thumbs up? do I hold my hand as if I am holding a baby bird? The thought about a baby bird works really well for my students. You want to have the firm feel of the body without crushing it. And, the head of the bird must be up! If we ride with this in mind, our communication from our hand will be clear to the horse. The opposite of this position would be the shopping cart hand. That phrase was coined by my teenage students, and it it’s nicely descriptive. When our hands are flat, as if we were pushing a shopping cart, the communication is not as clear to the horse. A perfect outcome requires a perfect position.