The Order of Aids For Changing Your Horse's Bend From One Side to the Other




Every single Dressage test requires the rider to change the horse's bend from one side to the other. At the lower levels, it may only be required a few times in each test. But as you move up the levels that number increases, with some tests having as many as 20 different opportunities to show the judge how good you are at changing your horse's bend. Or maybe how not so good you are at it!


Being able to change your horse's bend WELL will allow you to best maintain the quality of your horse's balance, carriage, rein connection, and overall harmony between horse and rider. This means improved Dressage scores! And most importantly, being able to make smooth, effortless changes of bend improves (and proves!) your horse's suppleness.


The ORDER of aids involved in changing the horse's bend is very important! It can make the difference between a horse that changes bend smoothly while maintaining the quality of the gait, versus one that stiffens and resists slightly every time the rider changes the bend.


MANY riders go to their new inside rein first... and that is definitely the worst thing that you can do! Read on to learn about the sequence of aids for changing the bend that will give you the best results!