Why outside and not inside? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 11-04-2009, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tampa Bay area, FL
Posts: 1,901
• Horses: 1
Why outside and not inside?

Okay, so we've all heard the phrase "inside rein, outside leg" for getting a horse to turn. Fabulous, but....why? From a training point of view, that doesn't necessarily make sense! We teach our horses to yield or step away from pressure, not turn in to it, so wouldn't it make more sense to use your inside leg?

This is just something I thought about today while riding. I neck rein, and I've found that when I use my inside leg, I get a much faster and cleaner turn than when I use my outside leg.

Last edited by justsambam08; 11-04-2009 at 10:57 PM.
justsambam08 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 20 Old 11-04-2009, 10:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 11,772
• Horses: 0
Ok, if you're turning/circling left:

Bend the horse around your inside leg. Your outside leg controls the outside shoulder, and brings it and the right ribcage around. Your reins are just supports for your legs. Your legs determine the size of the circle. Of course there's seat in there too.

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com
JustDressageIt is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 11-04-2009, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
You shouldn't really be turning with your inside rein at all, just as JDI said, your reins are really there to ride the horses shoulders.

As already stated, you bend the ribs with your inside leg, and your outside leg keeps your horse from drifting outwards, and your outside rein is on the horses shoulder *well, really on the neck* to keep the shoulder from popping.

It gets technical........................

I guess in a simpler manner - students are taught inside rein for the bend and outside leg to keep the horse from drifting out. But as you progress and mature as a rider, you soon learn you never direct your horse by guiding it's head around - you direct your horse by using seat and legs.

But you are correct - your outside leg and rein really is there to put the pressure on to keep the horse from drifting out and the shoulder from popping.

But you must always bend the horses ribs around your inside leg.

As I learnt from a SPS Rider Beitre Herbeirt Siebel * I never spell his name correctly * is that the seat rides the hind end, the legs ride the ribs, and the reins ride the shoulders.

MIEventer is offline  
post #4 of 20 Old 11-04-2009, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tampa Bay area, FL
Posts: 1,901
• Horses: 1
thanks JDI, but its not neccesarily how, its the why of it.

For me (using your example) when I'm turning left, my right rein gets laid up on his neck signaling his head/shoulder to move, and my left leg puts pressure on his rib cage, moving his butt over, and my seat is obviously turned left as well. For me/my horse, it works very well, versus when my right leg gives pressure, he does more of a wide/lazy turn bordering on a sidestep.

I really would just like to know why horses are trained/people are trained with the "outside leg, inside rein" cue
justsambam08 is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 11-04-2009, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
I really would just like to know why horses are trained/people are trained with the "outside leg, inside rein" cue
Because there are far too many uneducated Coaches, turning out Uneducated Riders.

MIEventer is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 11-04-2009, 11:07 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,510
• Horses: 2
The only time I've had a coach tell me "inside rein, outside leg" was for asking for a canter. I've never had someone tell me to ride that way.

Because horses are trained to move away from pressure, you require the outside leg and your reins to help keep the formation of the bend. Without them, he simply starts leg yielding and stringing out his hindquarters.

I don't think the phrase means giving up the inside leg, I think it refers to how many people forget that the outside leg is neccesary as well.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

MacabreMikolaj is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 11-04-2009, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,179
• Horses: 4
An easy way to see why it works it to think about a tighter turn - I.e. a haunch turn or rollback (And I mean both in the sense of ASH/QH shows).

The inside rein opens, giving the inside shoulder a pocket to move into. The outside rein blocks the outside shoulder and helps push both shoulders into the newly created pocket. The outside leg is used to push the ribcage over toward the pocket - The hind end stays in the relatively same spot - Which is correct. If you were to use the inside leg, then the ribcage and the hind end would swing around the shoulders, instead of the shoulder swinging around the front end.

So basically - In theory, a horse should always be working off his hind end. Turns should come through from the hind - So in essence you are swinging the shoulders and ribcage around the hind end. The outside leg stops the ribcage and the hind end from 'blowing out' on the turn - Moving around the shoulder instead of the other way around. The rump should always follow the shoulders - Not turn wider.

I hope that made sense!

wild_spot is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 11-05-2009, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,076
• Horses: 1
Actually, I always here inside leg to outside rein (with pressure on the inside and also leg on the outside to prevent falling in or out of the bend)
1dog3cats17rodents is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 11-05-2009, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
• Horses: 2
Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents View Post
Actually, I always here inside leg to outside rein (with pressure on the inside and also leg on the outside to prevent falling in or out of the bend)

Yeah, you control the size of your circle with the outside rein. Seems to be the norm in dressage... nowhere else though, even though it works.

Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground. ~ Author Uknown
Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE!
lexxwolfen is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 11-05-2009, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In the saddle.
Posts: 5,157
• Horses: 1
The inside rein actually plays a very important part in turning. It is the single most uncomplicated aid we have that tells the horse "go left" or "go right". Of course, when we pull back on it, it says something different, flex, but when we open it, it becomes crystal clear what way we want the horse to go.
Part of every turning aid should be the "indication" with the inside rein.

As far as for the "outside leg", I prefer the term as my coach uses it "outside AID". It is not about putting your leg on, but creating a "tunnel" with your outside aids that the horse can not drift through. This tunnel is also partially created by the inside leg making the horse's body bend around the curve.

Really, it is all the aids that complete a turn, it is just decomposing which to teach first that is so confusing. Riding the horse is like putting him in a colander and slowly closing up all the holes one by one. If we were to all of a sudden put all the aids on for a perfect turn, he would feel like many holes had been closed up at once, and become confused or scared. We must teach him, aid by aid to turn until eventually we always have some degree of all aids applied on the horse.

Would also just like to ETA: I am not really allowed to touch my outside rein in a turn beyond keeping a contact. I am to use my outside aid to turn, not just pull on the rein and push the shoulder over. For a long while I could not turn my horse right to save my life and I was forbidden to touch my left rein going to the right. You must turn from the seat, from the legs and from the inside rein but only indicating with the inside rein.

Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 11-05-2009 at 01:44 PM.
~*~anebel~*~ is offline  

Quick Reply

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
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
inside hind leg. saraequestrian Dressage 3 05-10-2009 08:42 PM
Can you help me understand inside rein and outside leg??? ak_showgirl Horse Training 10 11-16-2008 04:53 AM
Inside leg to outside rein freerider Horse Training 3 07-08-2008 03:25 PM
Inside or Out....? farmpony84 Horse Health 9 06-09-2008 09:07 PM
im confused...inside or outside leg?? jazzyrider English Riding 11 05-29-2008 03:15 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome