How SteadyHands Gloves Work
The short version...
SteadyHands gloves are linked by an elasticised band with a quick-release clip.
The band can be adjusted to keep your hands at a wider or shorter distance apart.
The clip releases very easily with a short sharp movement, but under constant pressure stays clipped up.
You will use the band like a resistance band, and push your hands slightly apart against it.
This will engage the correct muscles to keep your hands:
2. The correct distance apart
3. In a forward-feeling position
You will also notice improvements to your seat.
The long version...
The band that links the SteadyHands gloves together (which is adjustable, elasticised and equipped with a safety-release clip) acts as a resistance band across the back of the rider's hands.
By pushing slightly against the band, the rider will engage the muscles of the back, shoulders and upper arms, specifically:
2. Latissimus dorsi
4. Pectoral muscles
5. Abdominal muscles
All these muscles work in conjunction to stabilise the rider's seat and arms, resulting in better contact and hand position. Many riders also report an improvement in the effectiveness of their seat.
SteadyHands gloves are not designed as a crutch. Once the rider has felt which muscles to engage, try to see how long you can keep them activated without wearing the gloves. Over time, you will use SteadyHands less.
Having said that, even advanced riders competing at the highest levels use SteadyHands gloves to make minute refinements to their contact.
Which muscles are activated?
The following muscles all work in conjunction to stabilise the seat and the hand position. As most riders know, it is impossible to have a good hand position if the rider's seat is defective.
Although SteadyHands gloves act directly on the hands, they engage muscle chains which also affect the seat.
This is why most riders who use SteadyHands gloves report an improvement in their seat as well as their hand position.
These muscles provide dynamic stability of the shoulders. In horse riders, when correctly engaged, they help to keep the shoulders back.
These muscles stabilise the spine and support good posture. They are important to keep a good, upright position without slouching.
This muscles connects the shoulders to the rider's core, and is crucial to good posture. It is a deep muscle but when engaged, it is a very important stabiliser.
These are one of the largest muscles in the upper body and they play a key role in stabilising the shoulders and combatting slouching.
Most riders know that engaged core muscles are the cornerstone of a stable and supple seat. Through the activation of muscles chains, core muscles are engaged when using SteadyHands gloves.
These upper arm muscles help riders to keep their arms by their side and stabilise the shoulders. They provide (along with other muscles) the ability to keep the contact forward feeling without moving the upper body forwards.
These are the large forearm muscles, which primarily flex the forearm at the elbow. Properly engaged, they stabilise and encourage a bend in the elbows. This is key to achieving a steady contact, as the elbow is often thought of as the link between the seat and the bit.