Tips for bending?

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Tips for bending?

This is a discussion on Tips for bending? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    07-30-2008, 11:03 PM
Tips for bending?

So, I've been riding a 14 year old tb who was trained to race, but never did. She had back problems a while back with made it hard for her to bend/go on the bit, but did not stop her from jumping/doing anything else. But with the help of vets/chiropractors/special pads and a custom saddle her back is 100% better. So she no longer has an excuse to not bend or go on the bit. I was just curious as to how to ask for her to go on the bit because when I put contact on the reins, she stops (or slows down a lot) and will not keep her forward movement anymore. I'm in the process of slowly working on it, and we've made some progress, but not a whole lot. Also, with the bending, she tends to try to cut in towards the center of the ring when I ask her to bend. She seems to be ignoring my aids with my inside leg and the dressage whip to push her back out. And if I use my outside rein at all to try to center her some, she totally bends outward instead of inward. She is fine if we are spiraling, or doing figure eights/serpentines, its just when we are turning a corner of the ring. I am also going to ask my trainer tomorrow, but I figured maybe some of you guys could help me out. Any tips would be great!
Sponsored Links
    07-30-2008, 11:45 PM
It sounds like to me that there is some strength lacking in the hind end. Can do spirals but cannot manage a turn.

I would be working a little more on leg yields and turn on the hind. The first as a suppling exercise and the second as a strengthening exercises.
    07-31-2008, 03:50 PM
Actually, she did pretty well today using her hind end. She just still thinks she can stop working abrubtly with any contact I put in the rein. Also, she was being excellent about bending the the back half of our arena, it was just the other half that took A LOT of leg. And I've only been working with her for about a week so she is trying. Any tips for asking her to allow contact better? She gets fussy when I ask her to move into the bit.
    07-31-2008, 07:15 PM
Originally Posted by gotxhorses
Any tips for asking her to allow contact better? She gets fussy when I ask her to move into the bit.
    07-31-2008, 07:18 PM
Okay, I'll have to try that. Would you suggest side reins?
    07-31-2008, 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by gotxhorses
Okay, I'll have to try that. Would you suggest side reins?
If they are adjusted correctly it is a good start to get the horse going into light contact. Keep the whip up so the horse realizes it must go into contact and not evade it. At least with lunging you can see just exactly what the horse is doing ( evasion, twisting etc) so you will have a game plan when you actually ride.
    07-31-2008, 10:13 PM
Okay, that's a good way to look at it actually, I never thought of that. But yeah, I'll have to definitely try that. Thanks! :)
    07-31-2008, 10:22 PM
I do not suggest side reins at all. They don't help to teach a horse's a crutch that they get used to having and won't collect or listen without one and then it's hard to get them back to what they were or better

A horse also can learn to lean into the side-reins (yes even with elastic) and will try to lean on the reins making it harder for you when riding.

Start out with no pressure at all and SLOWLY move your hands up a cm. Or two...until there is a TINY bit of pressure. Keep asking for her to move forward even if she stops....stop asking when she actually does. I'd suggest putting paper clips or a hair clip or something where your hands are for the tiny bit of pressure and when work with her (walk, trot, canter) with your hands there. Once she can go as long as you ask her to with that tiny bit of pressure...increase it a bit and repeat the steps.

I taught my horse to go on the bit, round his back, and get impulsion simply by doing the above (his problem at first was he'd toss his head whenever I made contact) and it worked.

Don't expect her to do it within two days. If she isn't used to being on the bit, having her head on the vertical and so will take time for muscles to devolope so she can carry herself without bothering her.

Maybe work with her for 10 minutes on it and slowly increase
    08-01-2008, 10:17 AM
Okay, I'll have to try that, and uhmm, when you say work for 10 minutes then slowly increase, do you mean work for ten minutes a day until she's getting it?
    08-01-2008, 01:22 PM
Here is my reply to a similar thread:

Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
Start with the basics - does she bend and counterbend each direction? Can you circleher on a true bend and a counterflex?
Here are some grea bending exercises (fresh in my memory, this is what Maia and I are working on!)

1) Circle to the right 20m, true flexion, when you reach X, do a 10m circle, then do another 20m circle to the right in true flexion. When you reach X again, ride as straight a center as you can, then switch bends and circle true flexion to the left. Do a 20m circle to the left, then at X circle to the left for a 10m circle, then do another 20m to the left - then switch back to the right.
Once both of you have gotten a hang of this exercise at a walk, do it at a trot.
Once you are comfortable with true flexion both directions, make one of the 20m circles a counterbending circle.

2) Do 10m circles at each of the major dressage ring letters (a, c, m, b, f, h, e, k) and the straight lines in between in true flexion. Once she is comfortable with this, ask her to counterbend the straight lines, and do true flexion through the circles.
Once she is okay with the counterbending on the straight lines, then add a 20-m counterbend circle at both C and A instead of true flexion 10m circles.

3) Do counterbending leg-yields along the wall, making a 40 degree angle to the wall.

4) Do counterbending loops - from K to X, bend the horse to the left and leg yield across. Then from X to H, bend to the right and leg-yield to H. Repeat on the other side.

5) Start a 20m circle on true bend, then spiral down to the middle to do a 10m circle, then counterbend that 10m circle for a couple rounds, then leg-yield back to the 20m circle. Keep the counterbend for a half circle, then ask the horse to true bend again.

6) Start a serpentine, and switch flexion (always remaining on true flexion) for each loop. Make an S-shape in the middle if you need to to help her through the transition.
Once she is okay with this, then keep ONE flexion through the whole serpentine, so she is counterflexed for half of it. Do this each direction.

Okay, I think I've spewed off enough exercises for now! Let me know if you want more!!

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0