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Inside Bend all the time?

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  • Inside Bend all the time?

    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!
    Luna's Equine Designs - Custom stall signs and more! https://www.facebook.com/LunasEquineDesigns

  • #2
    Makes for some SERIOUSLY crooked horses...
    Sadly, I've seen this done and heard of trainers riding/teaching that way
    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...
    Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!

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    • #3
      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.
      I.D.E.A. yoda

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      • #4
        ^ This!^
        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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        • #5
          Yes inside bend all the time see above for more indepth reasoning...

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              What DudleyC said.

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

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              • #8
                What katarine and dudelyc said- and then again, counter flexion has its place too.

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                • #9
                  Amazone, you're such a show off

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                  • #10
                    Yeah I know, sometimes I just can't help myself

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                      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!!!!
                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by katarine View Post
                        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.
                        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                        • #13
                          And yes, yes, I know there is a difference between flexion at the poll and bend through the body.

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Inside bend all of the time. YES>Someone explain it quite well.

                              If everything was centered the horse would travel wide behind.
                              “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                              ? Albert Einstein

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                              • #16
                                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.
                                I.D.E.A. yoda

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                                • #17
                                  Given who DudleyC trains with, I know who I'm going to listen to, exclamation points not withstanding

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                                  • #18
                                    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.
                                    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                                    ? Albert Einstein

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                                    • #19
                                      The question was not how to straighten a crooked horse, but simply if the horse should be bent to the inside at all times.

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                                      • #20
                                        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.

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