Originally Posted by Shasta1981
Thanks Anabel and Strange!
Anabel do you always elevate the inside rein for flexion? How about if your horse is twisting at the poll? Is there ever a time you would not elevate the inside rein?
Strange do you elevate the inside rein?
The rein is not elevated, the hand is elevated, slightly. As I stated the horse should flex mostly from correct positioning and bend. A slight upward positioning of the inside hand can aid in suppling the horse further.
If the head is tilting it is not an isse that is fixed by more hand - usually it is an issue of the rider holding too much on one rein and the horse`s lack of suppleness. In that case I would ride a staight line from two legs to two reins and focus on aligning the shoulders and neck into an evn pressure on both reins.
Now - in more upper level situations where the shoulders and neck are aligned and under control - I would use an opening inside rein to encourage more bend or turning in a halfpass or pirouette exercise. With a young horse and only at the right moment the opening rein can also be used momentarily to aid in turning, or to help align the shoulders with the neck in a transition or through a corner. I try to sparingly use the opening rein in situations where the horse is strengthening in a movement, but in the teaching stages it can be a good tool. I prefer the lifting of the inside hand as it helps to keep the shoulders better aligned, in general.