Confused about Inside leg/outside rein - help please

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DITZ

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I did a dressage test a couple of weeks ago and was fortunate to speak to the judge afterwards trying to understand some of the comments which were a lot about him not being supple. Amongst other things she suggested leg yielding to get him stepping under to free his back up more. Fair enough I get that. Then I read an article about using inside leg to outside rein and for the first time understood what it was all about. I know to do it on circles and I understand why but this article explained how this action also helps gets the horses inside hind stepping under too. If I’ve understood it correctly some things are now clearer but it may have confused me even more. I know when I am riding a test I try to remember to do inside leg/outside rein on 20m circles but I know I don’t do it any other time. Am I supposed to be doing it when I am trotting down the sides for example as I suppose with the exception of the entry (?) etc that almost all moves are on a circle of some discription. Am I right?

If I am I think I may have hit upon a basic error in my riding….. ;)
 

larri

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I use the inside leg to outside hand all the time - well not ALL the time, but you know what I mean?? :p Long sides, short, on circles you name it we use it!

Ask the inside hind to really step up and under and then have a more positive feel or a sponge on the outside rein and bingo Safi remembers that her back end is suppposed to be working too! We'll also combine it with asking for lateral flexion of her poll / jaw as well - channelling her body straight with legs and seat and just asking for a small flex either in or out to make her think about her work and to ask small questions of her without her taking a hold and steaming off into a strop.

BTW you are right re the constant circles - in a school / arena anyway!
 

Lgd

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Yes, you should be riding inside leg to the outside rein all the time - something that is badly taught in UK riding schools :rolleyes: and not ridden by even some at the highest levels - one of the riders (GP level) at the BD convention got it in the neck a few times from Ulla for not always having the horse in the outside rein.
 

DITZ

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Oooh I feel a Eureka moment coming on! :D

Thanks guys, that would explain a lot. I've read lots of stuff and never really understood it other than its use on circles but of course, most of the test is a circle of some sorts. Can I ask if my interpretation of this movement is right then - Enter at A, track right at C. Both legs on moving up the centre line, 3-4 strides from C (is that enough?) apply right leg (or remove left leg?)and take slight checks with left hand and open right hand slightly.

No wonder I always get the comment 'stiff C-M'.... :rolleyes:
 

kayjayhorses

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Down the long and short sides your horse should have 'inside bend' meaning he is slightly curved around your inside leg, not using your reins to pull his head round but his body should be curved (barrel/rib cage), to acheive this you would need to have inside leg to outside rein.

This is what I'm working on at the moment, takes a little time for your horse to get used to carrying themselves in this way, to feel comfortable and suppy to do so.

As this isn't natural for most horses, do little bits at a time for a short amount of time to start with, then build it up for longer periods once the horse is accepting it. One of mine finds it easy on one rein, but really difficult on the other.
 

DITZ

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He doesnt find it difficult, just that the rider does! Also realised my leg yield has been all wrong as I wasnt flexing the head in the opposite direction to where he was going.

I am so pleased to have worked this out although I will still have to remember to actually do it I am sure I will find it easier to remember if I've constantly go to be on one or the other as opposed to feeling like I have to switch it off and on. No wonder my horse is tense! Especially as when I do remember to switch it on I have mild panic as to which leg and hand I am supposed to be on!

Now I have another query. Most of my schooling has to be done hacking. Should I be still doing this even when I am trotting down a straight road?
 

cvb

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Pending a more expert answer from LGD ;) (given you "bumped" it)

The simple answer is that you are ALWAYS riding leg into hand.

When you are on a curve or asking for a bend, it is inside leg into outside hand. But that doens't mean that outside leg and inside hand get to go on holiday ! :eek: :D

So - when you are going along on the straight, is your horse accepting the bit and working "leg into hand" ? If not, what are you going to do to "ask" him to do so ?

(will leave you to mull that one and come back shortly to see if you've had a bash at answering ;) )
 

kelsey

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Good Exercise

A good exercise to get the feel for this is to ride very shallow serpentines, either down the center line or down the long sides.

You will need to change your inside leg/outside rein on each change of bend (also use your seat aids for this). This will really supple your horse and get him on your aids, and is very good practice for refining your rider aids as well.

I think that you could do this out hacking!

I almost never ride any straight lines during my lessons. Everything is a bending line or lateral work (with lots of stretching in between).

(I once read somewhere that riding is full of seeming contradictions - one of them was that, to straighten your horse, you need to bend him.....I am finding this to be very true!)
 

Wally

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IN theory a good working relationship should be able to ask the horse to be on the correct inside bend then the horse should take the contact through the outside one and in theory (we love theory :eek: :eek: ) you should be able to release the inside rein totally and the horse will remain bent to the inside and have the contact on the outside rein....unless your name in Kina! :D :D
 

DITZ

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mmm cvb. well I *think* that when I am going straight I am going leg to hand but I know that I am using both hands and both reins. Is this wrong? If I am going up the centre line and I am using inside rein etc wouldnt I be slightly bent and therefore not straight? PS - Not sure I like the new DavidH style of answering it makes me think too much!!!! Bit like a session with a pyschiatrist! He he!! :D :D Riding and thinking at the same time is pushing it a bit for a blonde!

kelsey. Yep I reckon I could certainly incorporate changes of bend for sure but I'm not sure now what aids I am supposed to be giving when going straight :eek:

worth adding that I do get good marks for my entry. (well good for me anyway!)
 

cvb

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Ditz - yes, thats my logic too...

If you want the horse to be straight, you need to be asking them straight.

Most often when we are in an arena, there is a wall or "edge" we need to ride up to, which is why we may need to retain a light inside bend to keep the horse "straight" against the fence.

[Edit: i.e. you are correcting a natural tendency for the horse to go 'un-straight']

But if you are out and about, then which side is "inside" ? Then the "ask" is straight and even (both hands, both legs - but both quite light).

The reason I say about the inside hand and outside leg not going to sleep is that often you are not just riding a circle - you are preparing for a change of some sort - direction, gait etc etc. And thats going to involve a half-halt....

I always think the co-ordination required for riding is a bit like that for drumming as every bit of you is "asking" - but not necessarily for the same thing ;) You need a "symphony" of aids :D

[Edit: also to add - on a circle your INTENT is round the circle, but on a straight line (center line, hacking etc) it is straight ahead - until you prepare for a change of direction]
 

kelsey

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True Straightness

I think that true straightness is like walking a tightrope. You will always be making tiny corrections one way or another to keep the straightness. The tiny corrections are the bending aids taken down to a very subtle level.

I also think that true straightness comes later in the training, as almost all horses are naturally crooked. Gymnastic training builds up their muscles equally on both sides so that they can be straight.
 

DITZ

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Nothing wrong per se just a little Frasier ;) Its good that it gets me to think for myself but harder work than just giving me the answer (you know I'm a trainer too and I use it all the time).

Always had a passion for dressage DavidH from the minute I put him in a mullen mouth snaffle and he started listening to me. I'm just not very good at it (right like I'm good at other stuff. I know I know...)

Next lesson I would like to work on my transitions (esp downwards) and preparation for movements. As you know I work on the element of surprise theory in canter transitions but it seems I do it in all changes of pace/direction etc.

...AND I want to jump :D

PS - Cant believe this rein/leg thing has escaped me for so long. Would explain some of the tension hey? Would also explain my inability to keep him within the arena in the last test as no walls to rely on...

Bad rider, bad rider...
 

Em 1

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Good rider, good rider ...

You've spotted a problem, worked at it and 'solved' it - surely that makes you a good rider? :)

I was lucky enough to start riding (as an adult) with an instructor who's mantra was 'inside leg to outside hand' so I've had it well drummed into me - don't manage to do it all the time though!
 

ongo247

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straight& bendy, what about diagonals

Hi folks, hope you don't mind me putting in my 2p worth, but so far no one has mentioned diagonals which I have been led to believe are condusive to enabling the horse to bend, straighten and to all things lateral.

your outside hand, performing the braking, gathering, limiting the bend etc, functions can only be truelly effective if it is in play as the outside shoulder iscoming back. same goes for the inside leg being effective as the inside hind is forward to encourage it to engage more actively underneath.

Even on a straight line you have an 'outside' rein which balances the horse and it is a good idea to be aware of which diagonal your are on always in order to co-ordinate and balance. I think the best way to keep staightness on a line is to ride positively forward rather than try and 'steer; them straight usually ending up with very fidgety hands and a very wiggley hoss.
 

DavidH

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Erm Zoe,
I kinda think we have discussed this before but perhaps not in enough detail. AS you know from training, the pupil generally retains about 20% of what is said. This area was not that important initially Too busy sorting out the main problems that were restricting Sav. If position isn't correct it really don't matter a dam how you ask as the horse won't be able to repond appropriately. Also starts to put in to context why I insist you ask for canter off your inside leg as opposed to the outside which you were initially doing

But do the statements
"Ask off the INSIDE leg"
"Soften your inside hand" or "Give the inside rein away"
"Don't loose the outside rein"
ring any bells

What is happening is that you are really starting to think about your riding and have improved to the level that you can start to appreciate just what is going on underneath you and just how many different ways you can influence it.

Not a BAD rider........the makings of a GOOD one.
 
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cvb

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ongo247 said:
Hi folks, hope you don't mind me putting in my 2p worth, but so far no one has mentioned diagonals which I have been led to believe are condusive to enabling the horse to bend, straighten and to all things lateral.

your outside hand, performing the braking, gathering, limiting the bend etc, functions can only be truelly effective if it is in play as the outside shoulder iscoming back. same goes for the inside leg being effective as the inside hind is forward to encourage it to engage more actively underneath.

Even on a straight line you have an 'outside' rein which balances the horse and it is a good idea to be aware of which diagonal your are on always in order to co-ordinate and balance. I think the best way to keep staightness on a line is to ride positively forward rather than try and 'steer; them straight usually ending up with very fidgety hands and a very wiggley hoss.
From recent Mark Rashid clinic: you need to influence where the horse's feet go when they are off the ground (kind of difficult when they are planted on the floor with weight through them :eek: ). Hence its more than just "diagonals", its about what foot is in the air when.
 
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DITZ

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Yep David all those statements I recognise bizarrely I only thought I was supposed to do it on circles :rolleyes: (I guess because most lessons have generally involved me working on 20m circles around an instructor. The eureka moment came when I read that it also had the effect of bringing the hind leg under so then I think maybe I should be using this all the time then not just on circles - and finally it dawns that 90% of dressage moves are on a circle :)
Its such a silly and obvious thing and I swear I have read so many books and had so many lessons I can't believe it never dawned on me before. Thats what you get with a name like DITZ I guess. ;)
ongo247 - Re diagonals. I assume that because you only apply leg when you are in the sitting phase of trot then it automatically gets applied when the horses inside fore is forwards. Ergo, applying outside rein at the same time as you apply leg automatically means you are applying as outside shoulder is coming back?
 
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