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3 Signs That Your Bending Aids Are Working Correctly
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! Here are 3 basic tests that you can use to make sure that your bending aids are working correctly: