PDA

View Full Version : Inside Bend all the time?



Luna
May. 7, 2012, 04:23 PM
I recently heard about a trainer asking all of her students to ride with an inside bend at all times. This is contrary to what I have been taught, but I am most certainly not an expert.

I am looking for enlightenment on this. Thanks in advance!

jumpingmaya
May. 7, 2012, 04:27 PM
Makes for some SERIOUSLY crooked horses...
Sadly, I've seen this done and heard of trainers riding/teaching that way :no:
Mostly in the hunter/jumper world but it happens everywhere.
I'm willing to be $$$$ that this same trainer rides ON her inside rein, rather than outside rein-inside leg...
Carry on with what you are doing, there is NO logical reason to ride all horses like that all the time... NONE...

ideayoda
May. 7, 2012, 04:55 PM
It is traditional that horses are to be ride 'in position' (to the inside) so the rider can always see the inside eyelashes. Why? Because horses are trapezoidal, so to align the horse straight riding in position allows for control of the shoulder(s). With a green horse the inside fore and inside hind are aligned. With an advanced horse (capable of more bend) the outside fore and outside hind are aligned. This is not done from the use of the inside rein, but rather from inside leg to outside rein.

Velvet
May. 7, 2012, 05:38 PM
^ This!^

mbm
May. 7, 2012, 05:44 PM
Yes inside bend all the time see above for more indepth reasoning...

dudleyc
May. 7, 2012, 06:26 PM
I don't think you should do ANYTHING all the time.

When I ride straight, I align the shoulders to be in the middle of the hindquarters and the nose in the middle of the chest. Mirrors help and this is what the judge wants to see on the centerline.

I also agree that if you align your horse so the hindquarters and the shoulders are equi-distance from the rail, that your horse will be crooked haunches-in.

katarine
May. 7, 2012, 06:32 PM
What DudleyC said.

bend is good, but straight has its place, too.

Amazone
May. 7, 2012, 06:35 PM
What katarine and dudelyc said- and then again, counter flexion has its place too.

katarine
May. 7, 2012, 06:38 PM
Amazone, you're such a show off ;)

Amazone
May. 7, 2012, 06:44 PM
Yeah I know, sometimes I just can't help myself ;)

merrygoround
May. 7, 2012, 07:07 PM
It is traditional that horses are to be ride 'in position' (to the inside) so the rider can always see the inside eyelashes. Why? Because horses are trapezoidal, so to align the horse straight riding in position allows for control of the shoulder(s). With a green horse the inside fore and inside hind are aligned. With an advanced horse (capable of more bend) the outside fore and outside hind are aligned. This is not done from the use of the inside rein, but rather from inside leg to outside rein.

Yes!!!!

merrygoround
May. 7, 2012, 07:12 PM
bend is good, but straight has its place, too.

What ideayoda said does put the horse straight!!

Overbending to achieve this is incorrect.

Yes! Counter-bend, overbend etc. does have its place, but to ride with the horse properly aligned, the shoulders must come away from the wall.

Amazone
May. 7, 2012, 07:33 PM
And yes, yes, I know there is a difference between flexion at the poll and bend through the body.

Amazone
May. 7, 2012, 07:44 PM
The OP said her trainer said the horse had to be ridden with an inside bend all the time, not only when going along the side of the arena. This is surely not correct as for instance when you are on the centerline, there is no wall. And things simply are not so black and white that you can say you always just ride inside leg to outside rein. Yes, I know that is the general idea and what you work towards and what we all read in books, but unfortunately the horses have not read the books. Some horses even need outside leg to inside rein at times. It all depends on the horse. You need to find what works for every specific horse, that's where dressage becomes art. If you could just use exactly the same procedure for every horse, dressage would be much easier than what it is.

horsefaerie
May. 7, 2012, 07:48 PM
Inside bend all of the time. YES>Someone explain it quite well.

If everything was centered the horse would travel wide behind.

ideayoda
May. 7, 2012, 07:58 PM
There is a difference between positioned straight and bended to the inside. A horse is ALWAYS 'in position' or counter positioned. That means at the atlas. Bending is even throughout the entire body, and that depends upon the exercise (circle/si/r/t). A leg yield is positioned but not bended.

katarine
May. 7, 2012, 08:49 PM
Given who DudleyC trains with, I know who I'm going to listen to, exclamation points not withstanding ;)

horsefaerie
May. 7, 2012, 08:54 PM
Can't remember which old dead guy said it but you bend em to make em straight.

It is true and has nothing to do with chapter and verse.

Amazone
May. 7, 2012, 09:43 PM
The question was not how to straighten a crooked horse, but simply if the horse should be bent to the inside at all times.

BaroquePony
May. 7, 2012, 10:01 PM
It is true that you have to teach the horse to bend first before he can become truly straight.

A truly straight horse, a between the hands and legs horse, is basically a well trained horse.

The kind of *bend* that is being discussed here is a very subtle bend. It is not as bent as in the shoulder-in or any of the lateral movements.

Only the edge of the nostril and the eyelash should be seen by the rider. The bend through the body is very slight, but should be there. If it isn't this exercise is designed to help.

By keeping the bend to the inside, the rider must use the inside leg to keep the horse out on the rail.

Then the rider can use the inside leg on the girth or behind the girth to position the body of the horse.

This is the beginning of teaching the horse to move from the inside leg to the outside rein.

These basics will be added to as things become easier and the aids can become more subtle and the horse really understands what you are asking.

ETA: And, yes, I do ride this way most of the time. It is automatic. It is more productive then just wobbling down the long side at the walk.

horsefaerie
May. 7, 2012, 10:22 PM
This is why halts are so crappy. People try to sit straight and take two reins for a halt at x. Try riding into your outside hand from your inside seat bone and see if it isn't 111% better.

Learn to feel the inside bend and not see it. Inside hind under your butt. Energy coming into your outside hand.

Luna
May. 7, 2012, 11:32 PM
Interesting and constructive responses, thank you for taking the time to educate me! In my experience, the eyelashes or corner of the eye were used as a tangent but this question came out of a more exaggerated inside bend. Thanks again!

ideayoda
May. 8, 2012, 06:22 AM
No exaggerated bend, just positioned straight. Bend is progressively developed (i.e. 20 m circle to 10 to 6-8m voltes over time) as axial rotation allows from figures and use of si/r/t.

BaroquePony
May. 8, 2012, 08:10 AM
ideayoda, "posititoned straight" vs "shoulder fore"?

What is the technical difference?

ideayoda
May. 8, 2012, 12:16 PM
Alignment. Shoulder in= 3 tracks (inside hind hidden behind outside fore when seen from the front). Shoulder fore= 2 1/2 tracks (inside hind seen between forelegs). Positioned=seeing inside eyelashes, flexion at the atlas/axis, inside fore/inside hind aligned.

mbm
May. 8, 2012, 12:18 PM
what do you man by "exaggerated bend"?

the horse should bend evenly from poll to tail following the arc of the line it is on. on a straight like the horse should still be flexed and bent around the inside leg to the degree that you can see the inside eyelash and you are , as Gallop says - in position (ie slight displacement of shoulders inward) ... mostly this is to keep the horse from locking up its neck and body and keeping it well on the aids.

in my experience most novices and LL riders misunderstood the concepts of dressage and then misapply that misunderstood theory so they never get anywhere (this would of included me too)

then when seeing correct work many times think it is incorrect since their knowledge base is so far off kilter.

i blame this off kilterness on the internet and all the crazy posts about how a horse is to be trained (!!!)

Western
May. 8, 2012, 12:39 PM
Iirc, a horse isn't anatomically able to form an arc from poll to tail, since the spine between the wither & dock only has one area which the horse can bend, & that's the loin. The vertebrae in between are able to bend only slightly in accomodation of the horse bending his loin.

The horse also doesn't really bend his ribs, but swings his rib cage to the outside of the arc. Thus, the optical illusion that he's bent through his spine, unless one has an aerial view to trace the straightness of the spine against the swung-out rib cage.

mbm
May. 8, 2012, 12:48 PM
while it is interesting to note the anatomical properties, i think that to a point that is too much info... horse can and do bend (usually too much in the neck) along the arc of the line - altho the ribs do not have the flexibility of the rest of the body - it is still possible to bend.

the amount of bend a LL rider gets and requests is totally doable for the average correctly trained horse.

one of the things i think folks do (including me) is to make things more difficult that it needs to be. :)

for the interested rider: look at the book Das Dressurferd (now in english!) it has remarkable pics of all aspects of dressage including bend from above.

SuffolkRider
May. 8, 2012, 12:48 PM
Are some confusing bend with flexion?

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
May. 8, 2012, 01:02 PM
Are some confusing bend with flexion?

Was just about to mention that there is a difference between flexion and bend. :yes:

LaraNSpeedy
May. 8, 2012, 01:05 PM
My training is in line with IDEAYODA.

Just to clarify - along the long side of the arena, you are still riding an oval-like circle in an arena so down that 'straight' side, you can keep your horse still giving at the ribs with your inside leg and stretching into that outside rein - so it is a bend - just more slight than in the corners or circles. This helps position the horse to step under. The judge doesnt want to SEE bend going down centerline or on a diagonal.

Your horse needs his shoulders and hips lined up to be straight.

I think the problem really is - people over bend the neck thinking that is bend. And a lot of beginner and advanced beginner students hang on their inside reins a lot - it's part of the learning process I think from starting out not riding with contact. I had one girl who had a green horse - she had hung on that inside rein ALL the time prior to coming here and I had her counter bend and counter flex a lot to straighten them out, and this year - they are competing at BN, training level dressage and won the Equitation class at a hunter show recently. Her riding is coming along nicely NOW THAT she has stopped coveting that inside rein and her horse doesnt use it to lean on all the time.

I was taught as a young rider to look at the eyelashes and I started kids out with that to teach bend and find that it results in a hand-focused bend and neck overbend - inside rein overuse problem so I dont tell them to look for eyelashes. I do tell them if they see eyeball, they are overbending the neck.

Western
May. 8, 2012, 01:15 PM
...one of the things i think folks do (including me) is to make things more difficult that it needs to be. :) .

Pat Parelli says: "Adults are people who practice making easy things difficult." :winkgrin:

Amazone
May. 8, 2012, 01:53 PM
Yes I think that is where the problem is in this discussion- there is a difference between flexion at the poll and bending through the body.

ideayoda
May. 8, 2012, 02:39 PM
A vet friend, and husband of a dressage rider, did a calculation of bending (and yes they do bend through the rib cage). The degree of bend is minimal per rib, but they do bend. And guess what? The smallest curve a horse can bend evenly on is 6 m. Those odgs had it figured out. The rest of the bending is accommodated through axial rotation in the hips, and swinging in the belly to accommodate moment. It is not an optical illusion if one looks at the aerial view.

For sure there is a difference between positioning at the atlas/axis (laterally) and bending through the body. And the poll is the occipital lobe of the skull, it is a fixed place.

Gloria
May. 8, 2012, 02:43 PM
In order for the horse to be truly straight, the horse has to have bend throughout the body; counter bend is inside bend - you just happen to be travelling away from the bend instead of into the bend; and even in center line, there is always an inside and outside: you as a rider just need to know exactly which side is inside and which side is outside.

Amazone
May. 8, 2012, 03:02 PM
Chapter 3 of The Principles of Riding- the official instruction manual of the German National Equestrian Federation:

Leg-yielding

"...the horse moves forwards/sideways on two tracks with slight flexion of the head and neck, but no bend through it's body..."

So there are indeed times when there should be no BEND through the body.

Gloria
May. 8, 2012, 03:27 PM
What it says is the horse remains straight, instead of bend like shoulder-in/hanches in/etc - but in order for the horse to be straight, the horse has to have a slight bend throughout the body.

If you are interested, I recommend you find a good trainer/clinician who has successfully trained horses up to grand prix and ask him/her to explain and demonstrate. It is confusing to try to understand it on paper while quite clear once you see it in person. But in truth, unless you are climbing the ladder, as long as you know your bends and you ride with correct bend, all these subtleties are not necessary.

Amazone
May. 8, 2012, 03:37 PM
I have worked with several very well known trainers that have trained several horses to Grand Prix, but thanks for the suggestion.

NOMIOMI1
May. 8, 2012, 03:48 PM
I would say always be suppling yes... There are ways to do that without bend... But so many judges will tell you almost always people forget to bend enough so..

Gloria
May. 8, 2012, 03:59 PM
Ask those trainers you have worked with then, Amazone. How simple is that? I have worked with some very successful trainers and clinicians but that sure does not mean I know all they know.

Amazone
May. 8, 2012, 04:48 PM
Good heavens, Gloria! Lets just agree to disagree. I'm done, if it makes you feel better, you win.

dudleyc
May. 8, 2012, 08:09 PM
What it says is the horse remains straight, instead of bend like shoulder-in/hanches in/etc - but in order for the horse to be straight, the horse has to have a slight bend throughout the body.

If you are interested, I recommend you find a good trainer/clinician who has successfully trained horses up to grand prix and ask him/her to explain and demonstrate. It is confusing to try to understand it on paper while quite clear once you see it in person. But in truth, unless you are climbing the ladder, as long as you know your bends and you ride with correct bend, all these subtleties are not necessary.

Nope to be straight, the horse needs to be straight. Think of a square halt, there is no bend.

horsefaerie
May. 8, 2012, 08:37 PM
Dudley, hate to tell you but if that were the case, your horse would halt in front of the judge and would look somewhat like a bull dog.

Wide and out of balance.

There is bend.

suzy
May. 9, 2012, 10:33 AM
My training is in line with IDEAYODA.

Just to clarify - along the long side of the arena, you are still riding an oval-like circle in an arena so down that 'straight' side, you can keep your horse still giving at the ribs with your inside leg and stretching into that outside rein - so it is a bend - just more slight than in the corners or circles. This helps position the horse to step under. The judge doesnt want to SEE bend going down centerline or on a diagonal.

Your horse needs his shoulders and hips lined up to be straight.



Re: your first paragraph, Dudly and others explained this concept well and more correctly. You aren't (should not be) bending the horse on the long side but rather riding in a very slight shoulder-fore position. Horses are wedge shaped--wider at the hips than the shoulders. Putting them in the slight shoulder-fore position gets them correctly aligned and the head and neck centered between the shoulders.

Re: your second paragraph, you cannot line up the shoulders and hips because the hips are wider than the shoulders as I said above. Again, back to the slight shoulder-fore positioning to get the horse straight.

suzy
May. 9, 2012, 10:37 AM
Dudley, hate to tell you but if that were the case, your horse would halt in front of the judge and would look somewhat like a bull dog.

Wide and out of balance.

There is bend.

Sorry, but this makes no sense. I'll go with Dudley's explanation that the horse is straight on the centerline. Period. However, if you mean there is an inside rein and an outside rein when traveling down the centerline, I would agree. If I am turning left onto the centerline, the right rein is my outside rein and is the rein I will use to half halt as needed.

And, Amazone...I feel your pain and emphathize. :lol:

Amazone
May. 9, 2012, 01:03 PM
Thanks, Suzy ;)

ideayoda
May. 9, 2012, 01:18 PM
The horse is ridden 'in position' on the long side or the center line. This is not si, nor shoulder fore, but just aligned (inside fore/hind in a greener horse, aligned outside fore/hind in a trained horse). This is basic to the concept of (developing) straightness and self carriage. (Read the classics of Podhajsky/Seunig/Maringer/Handler/FN etc)

suzy
May. 9, 2012, 01:45 PM
Many people do not know what the term "ride in position" means, which is why I used the term "slight shoulder-fore." If they don't know what a shoulder fore is, at least they can Google the term and find quite a bit of info.

NOMIOMI1
May. 9, 2012, 03:59 PM
The horse is ridden 'in position' on the long side or the center line. This is not si, nor shoulder fore, but just aligned (inside fore/hind in a greener horse, aligned outside fore/hind in a trained horse). This is basic to the concept of (developing) straightness and self carriage. (Read the classics of Podhajsky/Seunig/Maringer/Handler/FN etc)

Weird. I just posted this on the collection thread. With the language barriers of my trainers Ive always heard controlling the shoulder as straight or "in position" and bringing the shouder in-to the circle or line as shoulder well in lol.

So i always think in position and controlling the shoulder.. Neutral when changing rein or counter flexion.... Or shoulder in with shoulders into the inside track.

Carol Ames
May. 9, 2012, 04:27 PM
She said almost exactly the same thing!:cool:



B H who, used to be the head instructor at Puotomac Horse Center,
Can't remember which old dead guy said it but you bend em to make em straight.

It is true and has nothing to do with chapter and verse.

7HL
May. 9, 2012, 06:41 PM
The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others. ~Author Unknown

merrygoround
May. 9, 2012, 07:31 PM
Riding " in position" is a simple concept.

If you don't understand it find an instructor who can help you.

katarine
May. 9, 2012, 10:22 PM
I'd rather blindly wobble down the long side, thanks. That's my position, and I'm sticking to it ;)

BaroquePony
May. 9, 2012, 10:24 PM
:lol:

EqTrainer
May. 9, 2012, 10:34 PM
The horse is ridden 'in position' on the long side or the center line. This is not si, nor shoulder fore, but just aligned (inside fore/hind in a greener horse, aligned outside fore/hind in a trained horse). This is basic to the concept of (developing) straightness and self carriage. (Read the classics of Podhajsky/Seunig/Maringer/Handler/FN etc)

Yes. The horse is simply straight either on your inside rein ( a baby) or your outside rein ( a schooled horse).

Bad things happen when people dont do this :lol: but seriously. A lot of drama starts when people try to ride horses bent all time.