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Steps to Bend a Horse
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Charlie S Lafave

 
By Charlie S Lafave
Published on February 10, 2009
 
One of the common problems that most people face are about the aids for bending. Every horse owner should be able to bend his horse evenly from poll to tail not only on circles, corners, and school figures, but also, they need to bend to correctly their horse before moving on to the advanced exercises like shoulder-in, haunches-in, and half pass.

One of the common problems that most people face are about the aids for bending. Every horse owner should be able to bend his horse evenly from poll to tail not only on circles, corners, and school figures, but also, they need to bend to correctly their horse before moving on to the advanced exercises like shoulder-in, haunches-in, and half pass. These are some of the basic bending aids, if you're circling left:
  • To engage the horse to move his inside hind leg, shift your weight on the left side of the seat bone.
  • Your left leg placed on the girth, functions both as a pole for your horse to bend around as well as to maintain the activity of his inside hind leg.
  • Place your right leg behind the girth to assist your horse to bend around your inside leg and prevent his hindquarters from swinging out. Make sure to place your leg behind the girth according to the size of the circle. For example, for a 20-meter circle, place your outside leg 1-2 inches behind the girth.
  • The left side of your rein asks for +1 flexion to the inside. See your horse's inside eye and nostril.
  • Make sure your right outside rein is steady and supporting. Consider this as the limit of degree for the bend. This step also ensures to bring your horse's shoulders around the curve. So, the moment you turn his shoulders, the rest of his body also follows.
Therefore, you need to apply all these aids to bend your horse while you turn him along a particular route. The inside aids is used for bending your horse, and outside aids for turning him.