Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northern Illinois
I'm honestly not sure what cues you are using to ask her to bend that are unintentionally asking her to move to the inside. It sounds like she doesn't understand the leg cues. If that's the case, I would go back to lots and lots of lateral work: sidepassing, rein back, leg yield, and turn on the fore.
If she is sensitive to the leg cues, but is responding incorrectly, then it may be your method of cuing her that is causing the wrong action. When you ask for the bend, you should be gently tickling her side with your inside leg right behind the girth, while your outside leg is slid back with light, but steady contact and your outside rein should also have a soft, steady contact with the mouth. The outside aids are the supporting aids, there only to support the horse and give you inside leg something to push against. Your inside leg on the other hand, is the active aid and is the one that actually tells the horse what needs to happen.
A common problem you might run into, and from the OP you probably will, is that your horse may take the supportive outside rein aid as a direct, active aid and give to it, causing him to bend in the wrong direction. This simply means your horse can't decipher between the two similar types of aids. What you should do if this happens is drive with your inside leg (to help him understand that this is the active aid and the one he should respond to), ease up on the outside rein (so as not to make the difference between this supportive aid and your active aid too subtle) and play a bit with the inside rein (to get the bend to flow from tail head all the way to the tip of the nose.
Hope this helps some!