In addition to well ridden halts, half halts and stretching work, the bending work is definitely one of the most valuable instruments when training a horse.

Dr Britta Schöffmann, author, judge, trainer and former Grand Prix rider, shows us in the third part of this series “Dressage explained” which aids are necessary for flexion and bend, how they work, what they achieve, what mistakes the rider may make and the best way to correct or avoid them.

No circle, no volte, not even a corner is ridden without flexion and bend. Why? Firstly, the combination of both, the longitudinal bending increases suppleness from nose to tail and helps correct a horse’s natural crookedness. Secondly, it makes it possible for the horse to stay balanced through the turns when carrying a rider, reduces the loading of the inside foreleg, as well as working his neck and body muscles by alternating between stretching and contracting. Therefore, bending work has an incredible gymnasticizing effect and plays a very important role in maintaining soundness. Understand and learn in this film:

  • how you can apply your aids
  • why young horses must be introduced to the concept of flexion and bend
  • the effect the flexion and bend aids have
  • what happens in the horse’s body when flexing and bending
  • what flexion and bend have to do with the diagonal aids
  • what you can do when it doesn’t all go to plan


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