getting horse to bend inwards instead of outwards - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By albertaeventer
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-13-2013, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Smile getting horse to bend inwards instead of outwards

I have got a horse not had him long , his right reign is great.. but his left reign..

well when riding or turning corner his head is forever to the outside.. I do try to half halt with the aid to bend his head in and i also try to push him out with my inside leg. but he still cuts corners. I also open my outside hand and nothing really seems to work that well in trot..

walk is fine but as soon as we start going faster its all a pickle. i can get him moving slightly more central but even when out hacking i can always see his right eye when im sat on him its like he is always looking that way.

He can move his neck fine as i do stretches with him but im wondering if this is habit as it was discovered his pelvis was out?

Any pointers would be great thank you
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-13-2013, 01:44 PM
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What I do is use a lot of left leg at the girth area in order to bend his body around your inside left. That will also push his left shoulder in. Take your reins evenly and with light contact. Rotate from the waist up to the left slightly. Do not cross your right hand over the withers. If he still does not bend to the left or look left, I would take contact, and bring your left hand back to your hip for a second and then move your hand back to normal position. So it's a smooth (not jerky) pull and release. This will force him to look left even for just a second. Repeat as needed. Be sure you have light contact before pulling. Otherwise your will be hitting his mouth and then pulling.

When I have a young horse or a green horse that is really stuck, I sometimes with open my left rein to encourage them to look left. Be careful that this doesn't become a bad habit.

If that still does not work, you can carry a crop and place it on the left should to push it in.

Do various sized circles. Hope that helps!
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-13-2013, 01:48 PM
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He's not balanced. Before working on the bend, I would work on straight lines and square turns.

As in, I would place four cones in my ring and I would ride a perfect line from the first cone to the second and then I would turn sharply, still keeping his body straight, meaning his head would be facing forward and he would turn from his haunches then I wuold ride straight to the next cone and so on and so forth until I have perfected the straight lines.

It's a lot harder then one would think. When you take the turn you may have to pick up the inside or outsude rein to keep him from dropping his shoulders.

I'm not sure if I did a good job typing my explanation but with him bent to the outside like that, he really needs balance before moving on is my opinion....

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-14-2013, 04:44 PM
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Everyone else has made some good suggestions. I would also be hyper aware of your body position as well, if you are leaning more to one side or the other, the horse has to compensate for the rider's unbalance. People have one side stronger than the other, and usually put slightly more weight in one stirrup than the other. Check to see if your stirrups are equal lengths as well, many people "feel" equal, but aren't. It's tough to determine by yourself what exactly you're doing up there, because what feels balanced and right to us as the rider may be very far from actually being balanced! Eyes on the ground are a HUGE help in this case.

I see one example of this all the time, a lady I know has a horse she can NOT keep on the rail when she rides to the left. She tried everything, all sorts of circles and exercises, kicking, spurs, a whip, nothing helped. Until she got some eyes on the ground that noticed she basically puts all of her weight in the left stirrup the entire time she was on the horse, and she had NO idea she was doing it. So the horse would be mostly fine at the walk the majority of the time, but at the trot or faster was constantly bent to the right because she was trying to get him out on the rail, but falling to the inside, because to the horse, it felt like the rider was basically standing in only one stirrup, so he was forever trying to get back under her. This is obviously an extreme case, but we all naturally have some imbalances, and they sometimes can affect the horses a lot more than we could imagine. I see a lot of riders that unconsciously put more weight in their inside stirrup, I was one of them myself! The horse can not bend or relax or move forward freely if they're constantly having to "catch" the rider who's leaning up there, or compensate for the unbalance. Still I have to almost always think about stepping harder into my outside stirrup for me to be balanced, and it was amazing how that one little thing makes a big difference! As soon as I do that my mare drops her head and moves her shoulders to the outside and bends properly and really fills out that outside rein like she's supposed to.

A good thing to experiment with is changing the weight distribution when you're riding, step slightly harder in each stirrup while riding around or turning, put more weight on one seatbone at a time, see if that changes anything with how the horse moves. If you move a certain way and all of a sudden the horse can easily do whatever it found difficult before, you may have found a clue!

Just something to be aware of:)

I also like to do lots of lateral work, shoulder in, leg yield, turn on the forehand/haunches, all that should help as well. If they ever fall in while riding, you just do a mini leg yield and put them back out on the rail, regardless of the gait you are in.
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Last edited by albertaeventer; 08-14-2013 at 04:48 PM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-14-2013, 05:23 PM
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It sounds like he is "stuck" somewhere.

Has he seen a chiro?

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