06-24-2009, 09:44 AM
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I would keep him on a 20 meter circle for most of the ride whenever you are on him, after you warm up. That will encourage the bend and help you to really notice whenever he's counterbent, so you can correct it. You just have to really push him off of the inside leg, into a steady outside rein. You can also wiggle the inside rein (no see-sawing) to help him get the idea.
Only give your inside hand AFTER he gives in to the pressure - that's his reward: he gives into your pressure, then you leave his mouth alone. It's not even really giving your hand forward, it's more just softening your fingers on the rein to release a little pressure.
Other exercises such as shoulder-in, legyields and turn on the haunches/forehand will help him learn to move off of leg pressure. Which will make him easier to bend once he's more responsive to your aids.
Just keep chipping away at it, he'll get it :)