Asking for more bend - Page 2

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Asking for more bend

This is a discussion on Asking for more bend within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    11-09-2011, 07:41 AM
Thanks, Kayty!

I backed my leg with the whip yesterday by tapping her side when she tried to ignore it (BTW she KNOWS what is asked, but tries to cheat every single time given a chance), that seemed to work better. DD, I'm not sure about "long and low" (you mean stretched trot, correct?), because you gotta have that contact and bend in place to get a correct stretched trot on circle. I work on stretched one closer to the end of my ride usually.
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    11-09-2011, 08:57 AM
Uhm uhm uhm.. I can never describe things!! Sorry Val!

When I warm up, and cool down, and often when riding I allow the horse to have the head and neck long and low, still on a contact so no buckle riding, and still moving from the hindquarters, I find this a good excercise to get them to flex and bend to the inside as you can use your inside hand across your thigh if needs be for a couple of strides. I taught Duffy long and low and it strengthened her back up remarkably so she is better able to cope with outline and flexing.

It was one of the first things my trainer taught us to do, before we tried any work with more contact and a higher poll, it was all long and low, walk and trot (canter she just muddles up a lot) and it was a great way to help her bend from my weight and legs eventually.

Hope this helps??
    11-09-2011, 11:29 AM
Yes, I see what you are saying, Duffy. I'm afraid I won't have any contact and hind drive if I'll start her on "long and low".
    11-09-2011, 11:38 AM
So was I! My hands were in my pockets, and I was bouncing all over the place because I was trying to get action from behind!

Still have the contact, and as soon as she drops her head the slightest, hands fore so she gets that as her reward and vocal praise, if she comes back up, contact again, and legs and seat for work from behind.. find this is easier in sitting trot!! Will try and get a vid of us this Saturday in our lesson!! Took me ages to teach it to her first and for me to get the right feeling for it :) But its GREAT for both you and the horse, you can loosen off and so can she :)
    11-09-2011, 04:28 PM
KV, the other key point to achieving long and low, is to really work your core. Your core is what holds everything together, and this is even more prevalent in long and low than when they are working in a higher, competition frame. You are less about to 'fake it' and hang on with your hands, so long and low is a huge test of how correct your training and riding has be and is.
I don't ask for long and low on a horse until it is very willing to go forward with a touch of the leg, and is working solidly over the back, very balanced and into a contact. From there, I'll ask for a few strides and as soon as the horse loses it's balance, I'll bring them back up again, re-establish the connection, then let them down again, so on and so forth .
DuffyDuck likes this.
    11-09-2011, 07:17 PM
Originally Posted by Kayty    
I don't ask for long and low on a horse until it is very willing to go forward with a touch of the leg, and is working solidly over the back, very balanced and into a contact.
True. The problem though I need to warm up my qh first (to loosen her up) before I have all elements in place to ask for the stretched one (and I agree it's harder as well as hard to "fake"). We started working on stretched one just quite recently (until then horse was not ready as per my trainer).
    11-09-2011, 07:23 PM
By all means, warm a horse up in a longer frame, but I try to avoid a genuine long and low until I'm sure they can maintain it without ending up on their front legs and balancing on their neck. Which completely defeats the purpose of the exercise.

Try warming up on a fairly loose rein, and just play around with shifting her off each leg. So a few steps of leg yield left, a few right, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches etc. On a very soft rein with almost a loop in them. This I find, it the most effective warmup method I have found so far. It warms up their brain as well as their muscles and gets the hind legs working from the beginning :) Just always off the leg laterally, nothing straight until they're nicely warmed up with this lateral 'play'.
kitten_Val likes this.
    11-11-2011, 07:03 AM
Transitions, transitions, transitions. Don't spend too much time on any one thing. Mix it all up and get the horse using it's quarters properly. Ask for lots of changes of pace including trot - halt, halt - trot, walk - canter, canter - walk (although your horse may not be up to that yet), reinback - trot and include lots of leg yields, half passes and five-loop serpentines. This will really wake your horse up and get it bending, but remember to work each side equally.

Have fun!
    11-11-2011, 11:20 AM
Thanks, Doon! :) 5(!) loop is not going to work though - the ring is way too small (it's home-made). Lol!
    11-15-2011, 04:13 PM
Use right thigh to push horse into outside rein, keep outside rein about 6 inches away from shoulder.

Outside rein away from shoulder helps prevent popping left shoulder (fromLisa Wilcox clinic), using right thigh pushes inside shoulder into outside rein so horse has to take more contact on outside (left) rein.

When using thigh you don't want to hold - so when you "take" on right rein push with right thigh. When you give with right rein stop pushing with thigh.

It will take a while but if you're consistent they'll improve.

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