Bending around turns..?

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Bending around turns..?

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        04-12-2009, 12:13 AM
    Bending around turns..?

    So, my goal for my next lesson is to work on bending around the turns/corners at the canter. I feel like Dakota is very unbalanced and counterbent when we canter, and it's starting to effect my jumping. So I'm going to try to figure out how to bend him to the inside and help him be more balanced. The only problem is... I don't know where to start. Basically what I'm trying to ask is, how do you get your horse on a proper bend? What are your legs, hands, and seat doing?

    Any advice is much appreciated!
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        04-12-2009, 08:10 AM
    Green Broke
    Sandie and I are working on the exact same thing right now - she likes to counterbend as well and it's ruining our circles! Here's what my trainer always tells me when I'm trying to get her to bend:

    * Outside leg slightly back
    * Inside leg pressing (hard) into the inside
    * Outside rein is steady, but inside rein is slightly shorter, to "pull" head to the inside -- keep in mind though, your inside leg has to be very strong, or the horse will just make a sharp turn inward
    * Outside shoulder pointing forward (very slightly!) - this really just helps you pull the inside rein in a tiny bit

    Eventually you won't need to have the inner rein much shorter, it may need to be more pronounced at first, just to teach him to bend in - but it needs to come mainly from the legs. My trainer always reminds me too "whatever you take with one rein you need to give with the other" because if you're yanking on both at the same time you'll just confuse the horse! You look like a pretty good rider though, I'm sure you and Dakota will get this very quickly!! Good luck, hope that helped you out!!
        04-16-2009, 02:08 PM
    When a horse is traveling in a straight line, ideally you want both it's front and back end to be on the exact same track so that only two lines of hoof prints can be seen on the ground. It should be the same way on a circle which is where the bend comes in. Here are key points to doing so

    -inside leg should stay at the girth and slight steady pressure should be applied.
    -outside leg should be slightly behind the girth to encourage the horse to keep it's haunches following the same track as its forelegs
    -you should have a steady, supporting outside rein so that your horse does not drop its shoulder out
    -slight pressure on your inside rein bending your horse at the poll just enough so that you can see its inside eyelashes
    -and the most important thing is turn with your seat, not your hands!

    Hope that helped :]

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