Asking for more bend

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding > Dressage

Asking for more bend

This is a discussion on Asking for more bend within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Dressage getting better bend
  • Should i keep my outside leg contact when making a 20m circle

Like Tree3Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    11-07-2011, 08:29 PM
Asking for more bend

The problem is both my mares are very stiff going right AND my left leg is not effective enough (because of the bad injury in past). So more often than not I have problems with bend and yield going right on circle (going left is fine). So I wonder if there are any tips/tricks on improving it. I do circle in/out (the tighter the circle the better bend is, and they seem to be more "giving", but it's getting worse as long as circle is getting bigger).
Sponsored Links
    11-07-2011, 08:45 PM
Have you tried doing bending exercises such as serpentines and figure eights to get them to move with the bend several times instead of just in a tight circle or of the four corners of a ring. I have the same problem and my trainer told me to keep practicing the bending every single time we ride as our warm up, so my horse gets a good stretch and will work his top line as well as keeping his bending and movement in place.
    11-07-2011, 09:18 PM
Nicole, what do you mean by "several times"? Changing the direction of the bend? I do serpentine sometime.
    11-07-2011, 09:21 PM
You might try bending around objects, such as cones, poles or barrels - weaving back and forth around something they can see, even at a walk or slow trot, tends to help them understand what's being asked, especially if they're stronger on one side than the other.
    11-07-2011, 09:23 PM
Ah sorry! Haha Yes by changing direction up and down and back and forth and going to the left and going to the right. And the serpentine allows me to do more then the 4 corners the ring allows me to bend because I can get in about 6 of them from one end to the other. Hopefully I explained this better, sorry my fault.
    11-07-2011, 09:55 PM
Shoulder in and leg yield on a circle ;)
FANTSTIC exercise... Work on a 20m circle, leg yield off the outside leg down to a 15m circle, then back out to a 20m circle. As you're yielding back out to the 20m circle, put your horse in shoulder in (or shoulder fore if horse is not established in shoulder in) and continue onto the 20m circle.
Straight up after one circle, then back to leg yielding in and out, back to shoulder in etc.

Mixing this up into serpentines and figure of 8's will really get that change of bend happening, and don't be affraid to overbend at times.
Essentially, you want to be able to move the hind quarters and the shoulders wherever you want to. If I'm on a 'sticky' horse, I will ride in slight shoulder for for most of my ride, shaking it up with some renvers and travers, into leg yields with bend on circles etc.
Avoid straight lines - they encourage a horse to be stiff and brace if you don't have the connection established enough on a circle. Straight lines are for testing your work on the circle, circles are for training :)
Starlite likes this.
    11-07-2011, 09:58 PM
Kayty said it perfectly!
    11-08-2011, 06:56 AM
Kayty, how do you ask for shoulder in? I did talk to my trainer about it couple lessons back, but looks like we are not advanced enough for the exercise.
    11-09-2011, 01:06 AM
If you haven't ridden much shoulder in, I would start with very slight shoulder fore. Shoulder fore is really just increasing the bend around your inside leg and slightly moving the shoulders to the inside.
Inside leg on the girth, outside leg slightly behind. Ride your hips straight on the line of the 20m circle, and turn your shoulders to the inside on the angle you would like to ride the shoulders. Keep a consistent contact on the outside rein and ride your inside leg and hips towards your outside hand.
You don't need to move the shoulders too much, just enough to increase the bend around the inside leg.

Hope that helps a little, 25mins left of work and I'm close to falling asleep on my keyboard!
    11-09-2011, 03:15 AM
Green Broke
Thanks Kayty!! I need to help Duffy's education along and just about to start a thread up about how to introduce leg yielding and shoulder in ;D

I agree with going whole school... the only time I go whole school is in a) a canter- she isn't very balanced so I make her support herself without getting faster! And b) doing medium trot... go whole school with a 15/10m circle to carry you on and on ;D

I find that if I want to ask for more bend, doing a lot of long, low work with the horse to begin with really helps, they get to move, stretch and warm their backs up first, I then do about 10 minutes of 'up' work where I ask for more contact with my reins, more engagement from the hind, and 4 loop serpentines, and 10m circles. Then, 5 minutes long and low doing big figures, figures of eight, three loop serpentines, changes over the diagonal....

When you say you're left leg is weaker I don't know how much you'd be able to cope with flexing to the inside and flexing to the outside as you need a lot of leg and weight in the saddle, not just hands and reins. I try and do this a lot as it gets her back supple, and she has to listen to my weight in the saddle, not just carry on travelling in an outline.

GL :)

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I didn't know she could bend that way! appylover31803 Horse Talk 7 07-24-2009 08:59 PM
Getting horse to bend madisonfriday Horse Training 10 04-29-2009 08:06 AM
How to get her to bend on a circle better StormyBlues Dressage 15 04-16-2009 10:40 PM
Lack of bend jeddah31 Horse Training 7 07-30-2008 10:14 PM
tying for bend...? sjhuntrjumpr06 Horse Training 8 02-29-2008 07:22 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:30 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0