How to stop a horse from overbending to the inside.
My horse exaggerates the inside bend way too much at the neck, rather than the poll when we ride into corners and in circles, resulting in him falling out over his outside shoulder. To correct this, am I supposed to use my outside leg behind the girth to stop him from drifting out, or my inside leg to push his bum out and straighten him that way? What am I supposed to do with my hands and seat??
Fix your contact issue first and foremost. Get him going forward, into a solid contact. Don't pull on your inside rein when you go around corners - inside leg into an engaged outside rein. Imagine that you are riding a canter pirouette, picking up the shoulders and placing then where you want to go, rather than pulling the horse around a corner.
Its very deceptive, but the outside rein is more instrumental in turning than the inside rein. Between this post and the other post I just read from you, I think you are thinking about your hands too much.
What Kayty said, work on contact (you've got company, I'm obsessed with working on correct contact).
I would also think more about bending through the body as opposed to bending at the neck, because the body is where the bend should be anyway.
You definitely need more outside rein in the equation. While you're warming up, do some rollback or turn on haunches to get yourself retuned to feeling how much outside rein and how little inside rein you really need to do a balanced turn.
You need to get the horse more off your inside leg, currently what is happening is that you are asking for too much bend - think of only asking enough that the horse becomes the same shape as the corner - so really you need to think straighter in front.
When you over flex to the inside the inside shoulder is unable to move correctly so the forward movement escapes through the ooutside shoulder. So first check your rein contact - the outside rein should be held with contact and the inside used with a slight squeeze of the fingers to indicate direction.
This is the point in time when you forget the 'correct aids' and use 'corrective aids' the outside leg can come forward and nudge to prevent the outside shoulder escaping or the schooling whip can be swapped onto the outside and held/used against the outside shoulder.
When the horse is circling/turning correctly you can actually drop the inside rein and the horse should stay in the correct shape, working from your inside leg into your outside hand.
The way I was taught is the hands help direct the neck and shoulders, your legs help direct the hind end. If your horse is falling to the inside, you need to use more inside leg and less inside rein. You should support the shoulders with the outside rein to keep him from over-flexing his neck and dropping the shoulder. The amount of pressure on the rein depends on how much it takes for him to keep straight.
Try this....especially if this is happening in both directions.
Use a 20 meter circle. Either direction do it in both eventually. Use your outside thigh and knee to keep the outside shoulder from bulgeing. Ride a 20 meter circle.....then pretend your riding that same circle ina sort of Diamond shape. Then back to the 20 meter circle. You should feel that when your attempting the diamond shape by holding the outside shoulder with your knee and thig the horse become straigher and more supple.
I sometimes have to use this excersize to help my own body as it is somewhat twisted and thus causeing my horse to bulge!
Do you have a trainer??? If you dont you would do well by investing in some lessons to help you with this and the other post you have made! It is so good to have a trainer on the ground and one that will get on your horse and feel what is actually happening.
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