Exercise 1: True & Counter Bending on a Spiraling Circle
This exercise teaches riders to feel and establish even rein contact with their horse’s mouth, as opposed to having a “hollow” rein on one side and too heavy a rein on the other. It helps them feel and maintain throughness on both sides of the horse’s body. In switching between bends, the riders can identify where straight is in the middle and recognize the differences in lateral suppleness or lack thereof on each side of the horse.
• Trot on a Meter circle going left
• Counter bend your horse slightly to the right with slight right rein pressure.
• Keep your right leg at the girth to move the horse s shoulders to the inside and maintain left rein pressure to help establish rein contact on both sides.
• Hold that for a few steps then switch to true flexion left bend while slightly spiraling out the circle so the horse moves his shoulder back to the outside.
I recommend this exercise at the canter, too.