How to encourage bend .

tubby1

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4 August 2010
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333
Hi there, just looking for a few tips . i have a a nice cob x who is nice & forward but not silly. On the left rein she is lovely bends round my leg & works in a lovely outline. on the right she is like a different horse its like trying to bend an ironing board. i know i can be very one sided and i do try my best to sit in the middle , i also have a habit of dropping my left hand. i know some of the blame is on me but she is so different on this rein it makes me wonder if i should get her back etc checked, just to make sure there isnt something preventing her bending. I am looking for any tips on the ground or ridden to improve this, In the past she has been very on the forehand but is much improved now.
 

PorkChop

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11 June 2010
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Scotland
First of all make sure you are doing the following - steady outside rein, light inside rein slightly away from the neck and really ride from your inside leg to outside rein.

Exercises to help the bend are riding squares and diamonds really turning the shoulders with the outside rein. Leg yielding will help, spiraling circles in and out, tbh any suppuling exercises will help.

It's very common for a horse to be one-sided, just like we are! Always warm up on her good rein to start.

If you are worried then it certainly isn't going to hurt to get her back/teeth/saddle checked but by the sounds of it everything is improving very nicely.
 

*starfish*

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12 September 2012
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29
i have been having the same problem with my pony. my instructor has had us doing lots of circles, loops and leg yeilding. my boy hangs on the left rein (he doesn't bend on this rein either) so we are doing lots of spiralling in an out on a circle to encourage him not to hang on the bit. Seems to be working so far x
 

StormyMoments

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18 March 2011
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2,215
What LJR said...

I also drop my left rein and I have been told by my instructor to hold my left hand slightly higher so I'm more conscious of where it is... it actually helps as I don't tend to drop that hand anymore.

Serpentines will be useful too and I would also start working on things like shoulder in, leg yielding and lots of circles of different sizes :)

Long reining may also help you too as you can do lateral work from the floor.
 

Pinkvboots

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25 August 2010
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Many are one sided I had one that just would not bend right, what really helped is whenyou go up the longside ask for an inside bend for a few strides then go straight then ask for an outside bend for a few strides and so on, try to turn your body the way you want the bend it does help, as your horse is better on the left when on the right rein ask for left bend then ask for right you will find you get a better bend, you can start in walk then do it in trot.
 

schneeko

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23 May 2010
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389
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Southampton, Hampshire
Doing some bending to the outside from your better rein should help, obviously alongside all your normal bending exercises (spirals, serpentines, leg yield, etc.)

Always worth getting their backs checked as well :) just to give you piece of mind
 

Cowpony

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17 May 2013
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2,596
It's worth getting the vet to check for physical issues. My mare is like this and became a bit unlevel. Long story short, vet is currently investigating her off hind and thinks it may be a sacro-iliac injury.
 
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