I recently started riding a young green lesson horse. He is pretty stiff and hasn't been properly taught how to bend around corners. Even when I'm riding him along the outside of the arena, I have to make him turn at the corners (by using my inside rein and a heck of a lot of outside leg) otherwise he will keep going straight towards the arena wall and then break stride so he can turn at the last minute, dragging my outside leg against the wall. (He did that the first time I got on him, but I quickly learned my lesson :P)
I'm experianced enough that I can keep him under control, but it's still a challenge. I can't lose my focus for a single moment while riding him, because I am always needing to help him around turns and keep him from crushing my leg, while still maintaining a nice even stride. Like I said, he's fairly green. So I want to go back to flatwork excercises to improve his flexibility and my riding technique.
So first of all, are there any riding errors I might possibly be making that could restrict him from bending and turning properly? (as in, is there anything I should or shouldn't do?) I know he's green, but I also know that a horse is supposed to 'reflect what the rider's doing in the saddle', so I just want to make sure that I'm riding correctly and effectively.
I ride him twice a week, once in a lesson and once on my own (in exchange for the volunteer work I do). What are some good excercises I can do with him to help improve his bending? And how do I break his habit of coming too close to the wall?
I should also mention, he is not ridden very often, only about twice a week. (Yes, I know it's bad, but I can't really help it because he's not mine.) Most people don't like to ride him because he's a more difficult horse. I'm one of the only ones.
Anyways, sorry for the long post. Thanks