07-07-2012, 09:13 PM
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First of all, have her teeth checked. A bad tooth that makes it uncomfortable when you take hold of the left rein could be your problem.
If that checks out OK (or you get her teeth worked on). Then start asking for her face. Ask her to bend her entire body. Shorten your left rein and use your left leg to create 'bend' from nose to tail. When she bends with little or no resistance, change legs. Ask for bend with your left leg, then take that leg off and apply a light right leg just behind where it usually is positioned. She should just follow her nose around and make a tiny circle. As soon as she complies by following her nose, release all pressure and ride on straight ahead.
When I ask for bend, I do not pull steady or use a steady leg. I shorten the rein and hold it at that point so she can give herself relief when she bends an inch or two farther.
The same is true of my leg. I do not kick and I do not squeeze steady. I give little bumps until the horse moves off of it and then I take the leg off.
When you learn to use your reins to 'ask' for a stop or for bend or ask a horse to follow its nose and DON'T try to 'pull' the horse around or into a stop, your horse will get lighter.
Think of your reins as a telephone line to send a message through, not a log chain to drag your horse where you want it to go or to stop. Your horse will 'reward' you with listening to the message you are sending it.