The 4 Signs of Incorrect Riding

#1 False bend

Everybody agrees that you should ride a horse from back to front, but a lot of riders find it difficult to decide if they really do it themselves.

If you ride your horse from back to front, you can feel a connection from the hind leg through your hand to the mouth of your horse, where your horse wants to take your hand in a forward-down direction.

Luckily there are a few signs which indicate if you ride your horse from back to front, or the opposite, from front to back. 

One of those signs is having a ‘false bend’. 

In the image below you see a false bend, but why is this a sign of incorrect riding?

As you can see in the image, there’s a ‘breaking point’ between the 2nd and 3rd cervical vertebra instead of between the poll and the 1rst cervical vertebra. 

We call this a false bend.

In many cases the first thing that a rider does when he gets on the horse is force a certain frame. That can be done in a friendly way or in an unfriendly way, but you’re still forcing your horse into a frame.

When you ride your horse in a false bend, you actually put more weight into the forehand. While the goal of correct riding is that you balance the weight more over the four legs of the horse.

But what should you do instead?

It’s important to remember that you always strive that the pole is the highest point and not the 2nd and 3rd vertebra.

You should get on and take the contact with the mouth. Ride with your leg forwards and keep following the mouth of your horse with your hand.

Follow every movement of your horse’s head and try to invite him to accept your hand. 

So make sure that your horse trust and follows your hand in a forward down direction instead of forcing him in an unnatural position where he comes far behind the verticle.

Morgan Lashley, veterinarian and rehabilitation expert, explains in the video below why you’d want to avoid riding with a false bend.

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