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An Exercise to Teach Your Horse to Be More HOT to Your Inside Leg Aid

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In Dressage, we use bending both to develop and to prove our horse's lateral suppleness. When the horse is laterally supple, the rider will feel that it is easy to keep the horse straight, and that it is easy to change the bend back and forth when changing directions. Lateral suppleness will also allow the horse to conform his entire body to the shape of the circles and turns that we ride him on... which means he can perform those figures in balance.

The caveat here is that to achieve this suppleness, the horse must be giving you TRUE bend throughout his body (more on that here.) So you need to make sure that your horse is actually responding to your bending aids correctly! And one of the keys to this is to make sure your horse is truly listening to your inside leg - giving you an immediate response to even the slightest of leg aids just behind the girth. 

Here is a very basic exercise, suitable for horses and riders at all levels, that will help to improve the horse's response to the rider's inside leg:

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