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Hand Stability Ideas Needed

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  • Hand Stability Ideas Needed

    Hi Everyone,

    I have been living with MS for 16 years and on Avonex for 6 years. Lately I'm having an issue with hand stability, in particular when I ride my very opinionated, green, pony. He doesn't like my hands floating involuntarily all over the place and I can't say I blame him. My neuro said the problem is directly related to those wonderful lesions in my brain.

    I'm seeking any ideas from those of you who use your hands for precision movements in your sport. Have you had these types of issues and what have you done to help stabilize yourself better during these episodes.

    I can live with dropping stuff, having my fork fly out of my hands etc. However, my pony is a show pony so this is a bit depressing for me as it will clearly affect our performance if we can't find something to help. Thanks.

  • #2
    Had a quick thought on that. Sometimes it doesn't take a lot to stabilize moderate weakness, maybe something like "support hose" for the arms would help. I use "arm warmers" for cycling and even those seem to add a little support although you can probably find something along those lines that might be better.


    • #3
      Thanks for the idea. It's less about strength and more about involuntary movements. I also cycle both road and mountain. With cycling I can easily maintain a light grip of the handlebars and also shift comfortably. I think the body position adds just enough pressure to help with this.

      With reins, they are light in the hands and light in general and have the added component of the horses head movement, so my hands (one in particular) has lately been floating up, out, or moves with the movements of the horse (looks like tremor, but it's not.) In an effort to stabilize myself last week, I held onto the saddle pad, as my trainer said stabilize no matter what it takes. It helped with the horses movement, but I looked silly I'm sure. The one saving grace for me is my trainer knows I'm not doing this on purpose. She's a saint for saying patiently over and over again "put your hand down..."


      • #4
        Your solution sounds pretty good (but not ideal obviously) according to my wife who rides. I also talked to my PT sis and she had a few ideas. It may help, it may do jack squat.

        1) Try light wrist weights (pound or less), which may make your hands more stable and should not be too fatiguing if not done for too long.

        2) Get a theraband and create a figure eight. Put it around your back sideways and cradle your elbows in the two openings. The extra stability may help.

        3) If you are not already using a cooling vest, give it a shot. It may help calm down the symptom.

        Good luck QP, let me know how it goes!
        Dave Bexfield


        • #5
          The theraband idea is genius. Thank you! I've already done the crop behind the back thing (your wife will know what this is) and it helps BUT it also leave dents in your arms and the crop does slip. If this doesn't let up soon, we are also looking at loop reins to eliminate rein slippage (another issue) during training sessions. That with the theraband might make my pony quite happy. :0)


          • #6
            And I do use a cooling vest in warmer weather. Unfortunately its the weather changes that seem to get me the most, right now it's rather cool here. Thanks again to you, your wife and your PT sister!


            • #7
              a few things i do:
              a) if it's 60 degrees or more I wear a cooling neck tie. sometimes cooling wrist bands. if over 65-1cooling vest. over 70-2 vests (one is one size smaller than the other.) If I feel cold I ride better.
              b) bucking strap--hook little finger around it,but not so tight couldn't let go in emergency-and tighten the muscles under my arm pit-it seems to stabilize--


              • #8
                p.s. I ride low level dressage on a saint horse with three very nice gaits; but sensitive and responsive. He gears up when I can perform and gears down and takes care of me when I'm 'off'.

                The 'joke' at the barn is that if they're wearing warm tops and barn jackets then I ride without a frozen vest and just a shirt. I also take extra wrist and neck frozen inserts in an insulated lunch bag so I can change out.

                hope your hand has calmed down and take care.


                • #9
                  Thank you LCRFitz. The hands have quieted somewhat, but now the legs are wonky due to overly tight IT bands. If it's not one thing it's another! I will keep tightening up under my armpits in mind though. Maybe that will keep me from tightening my shoulders too.

                  I used to ride a pony similar to yours at Training level (and some First level) Dressage although his well intentions actually worked against us in shows. As you know in Dressage it's all about energy and collection and lightness. Well, my adrenaline would tank and he would be more cautious, causing me to work harder to get him moving, creating this wonderful circular discussion between the two of us that was exhausting.

                  We trudged through and did okay, but definitely could have done better had that darn horse not been so caring. Now that I have a pony that is less intuitive and more of a juvenile than a school master, maybe I'll have better luck.