The easiest is using a driving rein. The driving rein is used with the right hand to the right side of the mouth, and left to the left side, with the rein held between the thumb and index finger.
Another exercise I use involves holding the hands at either end of a stick. The stick must stay perpendicular to the center line of the horse. After you have mastered circles (more difficult than you might think), proceed to figure-8’s and serpentines. Jumping small jumps really helps the rider to feel the outside rein. Remember the outside rein is the primary balancing rein.
Also, practice turning your horse with both reins in the outside hand. Finally, another great exercise for the horse and rider is the counter canter. Proper counter canter is a true test of balance and straightness. When tracking left on the right lead (and vice versa), the primary aids are left rein and left leg. The right leg is the inside leg and should maintain impulsion and bend. Counter canter is also extremely beneficial in developing the strength of the horse’s hind quarters.
In short, a fit, well conditioned, well maintained horse ridden straight by someone who is aware of lateral as well as longitudinal balance shouldn’t experience difficulty holding a lead on a turn.
Fundamentals of Flatwork – Part 2 – Intermediate (See Chapter 3A “Following Arms” for the Driving Rein)
If you have the Basic level down, you and your horse are ready for more of Bernie’s proven supplemental training techniques. In the Intermediate level, you’ll learn how to put the polish on your performance by blending these potent methods into your everyday training program. You will learn how to build on the fluency with which you and your horse have come to communicate. For most horses, mastering this level will be sufficient to perform well in any show ring.
Running Time: 59 minutes and 6 seconds
Advanced Equitation: Changing the Bend in the Counter Canter
A common ride-off test in advanced equitation classes involves turning to a jump on the counter lead. This becomes a problem if your horse is overly bent to the outside in order to maintain the counter canter because there is no chance to get his eye on the jump. If a slight change of bend causes your horse to swap leads when zeroing in on the jump, you are also in trouble. To answer this question on course, the horse must be trained to maintain the counter lead while simultaneously changing the bend to the inside. In this video, Bernie teaches a sensitive horse how to achieve this.
Running Time: 5 minutes and 53 seconds
Back Pain in the Horse
Geoff Vernon and Rob Boswell
Top sport horse veterinarians and back specialists, Geoff Vernon and Rob Boswell, discuss the various back problems that can crop up for our equine partners. They highlight the different treatment options from the most high-tech to over-the-counter remedies and provide advice to the everyday horseman on how to recognize back pain in your horse.
Running Time: 18 minutes and 48 seconds
Have Something You Want to Ask Our Panel of Experts?
Ask The Experts is the ultimate way to get help from the top professionals in the equestrian industry without leaving the comfort of your home. This service is available to Monthly, Annual, and Lifetime Members of EquestrianCoach.com.