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Training Tip: Practice Bending Transitions on the Trail With Your Horse

The Fundamentals Series exercise Bending Transitions is a great exercise to have in your toolbox when you’re riding on the trail. It’s perfect for the situations in which you’re riding your horse and he’s not quite paying attention to you, but your life isn’t in danger either. Your horse is just off with the fairies. You don’t necessarily have to do a One Rein Stop to regain control of the situation, you just need to get the horse to tune in to you.

To do this exercise, you’ll trot or lope your horse on a loose rein, then with the lightest amount of pressure with your rein and inside leg, you’ll bend him down to a bending circle at the walk. The goal is for the horse to be soft and supple through his whole body from his nose to his tail and offer no resistance during the transition.

Bending the horse around your inside leg and asking him to soften his body works great for getting him to focus his attention back on you. Incorporate the exercise on your next trail ride and see the difference it makes with your horse.